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Has Israel lost control over coronavirus pandemic?

Faced with a continued spike in coronavirus cases, Israel’s government is set to reimpose crowding restrictions.
Medical staff work in the COVID-19 isolation ward of Sheba Medical Center, Israel's largest hospital, in Ramat Gan near the coastal city of Tel Aviv on June 30, 2020. (Photo by GIL COHEN-MAGEN / AFP) (Photo by GIL COHEN-MAGEN/AFP via Getty Images)

Faced with a sharp rise in the number of coronavirus cases, Israel’s Cabinet is expected to reimpose certain movement restrictions on July 6. The government is now discussing recommendations made by the ministry of health. Finance Minister Israel Katz conceded earlier that significant decisions would be made at the meeting, but insisted, “We must not return to the lockdown [that was instituted late March]."

Early this morning, the Knesset Law Committee voted in favor of a bill advanced by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to increase the fine for not wearing a face mask in public from 200 Israeli shekels ($58) to 500 shekels ($145). In order to be enacted, the bill must now be approved by the Knesset plenum. The coalition intends to bring it to vote already this evening, but might have to delay it after several lawmakers complained against the rushed proceedings. The lawmakers also contested the intention of the government to bring for Knesset approval within 48 hours the "big corona law," which will broaden the Cabinet’s authorities in curbing the outbreak.

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