New bloom in virus cases met with more government authority: Israel Update

July 24, 2020

Israel saw over 2,000 new coronavirus cases for the second day in a row, according to health officials on Thursday. The officials also confirmed that the infection rate now stands at 8.3%, meaning, on average, every 12th Israeli tested for COVID-19 is testing positive. Of the 33,097 patients with active cases, 302 are in serious condition. Another 127 patients are in moderate condition, while the remaining have mild symptoms or are asymptomatic. The ministry also reported seven fatalities, raising the death toll—from the onset of the pandemic—to over 440. 


In a bill approved this week, Israel’s parliament gave the government sweeping authority to combat a resurgent coronavirus outbreak—allowing the cabinet to declare a state of emergency and impose new restrictions, with little to no parliamentary supervision. Upset by the new law, protesters marched through Jerusalem and briefly blocked the entrance to parliament on Wednesday. Hours after the law's passage, the Knesset Coronavirus Committee overturned several ministerial decisions by ruling that gyms may reopen on Sunday morning, and that attractions will be allowed to operate over the weekend. Zoos, cable cars, tourism sites, exhibition spaces, and museums will all be allowed to stay open, with the committee saying that this should help reduce crowding. 


The Israel Defense Forces announced it was sending reinforcements to the northern border amid the threat of retaliation by the Lebanese Hezbollah terror group over the death of one of its fighters in Syria earlier this week. An IDF spokesperson said the reinforcement consisted of one battalion—the Golani Brigade’s 13th Battalion—and a small number of additional troops sent to the Northern Command’s Galilee Division. Hezbollah is accusing Israel of killing Ali Kamel Mohsen Jawad, and sources close to Hezbollah told the London-based newspaper, Asharq al-Awsat, that the terror group would likely respond with force. On Friday, Shrapnel damaged a building and a vehicle in northern Israel after a rocket or mortar shell was fired from a Syrian border village.


Thousands of demonstrators amassed near the residence of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on Thursday night, to protest against the government. At the same time, several hundred pro-Netanyahu demonstrators held a counterrally, nearby. When the 11:00 p.m. deadline for ending both events passed, police began forcibly evacuating those who had gathered. Police employed a variety of riot dispersal methods, including water cannons. By the end of the night, 55 people were arrested for disrupting public order and assaulting police officers. Anti-Netanyahu protesters have been holding regular rallies outside his Jerusalem residence—calling on the premier to resign due to his recent indictment on corruption charges. The counterprotest in support of Netanyahu was the first of its kind since the start of demonstrations against the premier.



The safety, health, and well-being of all community members is a priority for the Jewish Federation. Like many of you, we are closely monitoring the evolution of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. This page has been developed to help our community stay informed and provide the resources needed to maintain a sense of connection. As more resources are curated, this page will be continually updated. 


Shabbat Shalom,


Jackie Congedo, Director, JCRC


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