Netanyahu Allows Protests to Go Forward without Restrictions; Ultra-Orthodox Flout Restrictions, Hit Harder by Coronavirus than Secular Jews; Positive Covid-19 Tests Continue to Decline; Retailers Threaten to Open Up Despite Restrictions

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly will allow protests against him to resume—without coronavirus protections that prevented the demonstrations from occurring. Speaking behind closed doors to his ministers, Netanyahu told them he would not seek to have emergency measures extended. Defense Minister Benny Gantz earlier had said he would not approve an extension on the condition that morbidity rates continued to decline. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more… Ultra-orthodox Jews however had been flouting coronavirus restrictions, holding large holiday celebrations in several cities. Thousands more flocked to beaches in Tel Aviv and elsewhere, breaking rules outlawing beach visits. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more… Ultra-orthodox Jews are paying the price for flouting lockdown rules. Tests in Ultra-orthodox towns came back positive 25 percent of the time, compared to just 7.4 percent nationwide. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more… Around Israel, positive test results dropped to 7.3 percent over the weekend. In previous weeks, positive test results had hovered around 12-13 percent. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more… Ronni Gamzu, Israel’s coronavirus czar, says he expects to see daily case rates drop to 2,000 in the coming weeks. In recent days the daily case rate has dropped to between 3,000 and 4,000, and Gamzu expects the trend to continue. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more… Meanwhile, Israeli Health Minister Yuli Edelstein has called on Israel’s finance ministry to fully compensate businesses and workers who have lost income due to the coronavirus lockdown. “As a government we need to make sure that that those business owners and people who lost a lot will get not just pocket money, but full compensation, in real time, and I intend to fight for that,” Edelstein said. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more… And an alliance of 400 retail chains and 18,000 stores is urging stores to open in malls and shopping centers nationwide in protest of the Health Ministry’s plan to gradually re-open to country. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…