Israel Extends Lockdown, Settlements

  • The two mutations of coronavirus from the UK and South Africa are in Israel.
  • Even young people have now become hospitalized, which means that they will also need vaccination.
  • Israel is faced with a new administration in Washington with uncertainty of its policies.

The lockdown in Israel against the Coronavirus has been extended for another two weeks. The lockdown has not been successful in getting down the number of daily infections. Instead, Israel has seen a change in the number of younger people that have become hospitalized from the Coronavirus in the last two weeks.

The vaccination campaign in Israel will now include younger people.

The goals of the lockdown include fewer hospitalizations, fewer severe cases, fewer people on respirators and fewer deaths. The difficulties in this lockdown are attributed to the two mutations of the Coronavirus from the UK and South Africa. These two mutations seem to affect the youth, which were not crippled by the disease in the past.

The Ministry of Health is making a new equation of how to reach Herd Immunity with the vaccine. To reach Herd Immunity will now have to include vaccination of children. Reports from America indicate that the Pfizer vaccine will also help for these two mutations of COVID-19.

Israel is pushing for further settlement construction in the West Bank as Donald Trump leaves office. The government has approved 2,600 new housing units in East Jerusalem and the West Bank settlements a day before Joe Biden took office. President Biden has already said that he will remove those sanctions on Palestinians, which President Trump installed when he takes office. 

Earlier this week, the Israeli government advanced plans to build another 800 units in the West Bank.  The UK and EU called these plans detrimental to making peace between Palestinians and Israel and in violation of international law. The Trump Administration declared the legality of Israeli settlements in these captured territories.

President Trump cancelled the nuclear deal with Iran when he entered office. It is still unknown if President Biden will return to the Obama nuclear deal.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) warned that the incoming Biden Administration may want to appease Iran, endangering Israel’s existence. He said that it is likely that President Biden would try to appease Iran, but vowed that the US is committed to the security of Israel.

On Wednesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called on President Biden to bring America back into the Iran nuclear deal. He also gloated that the strategy of “maximum pressure,” applied by the Trump Administration, had failed.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said that America will continue to consider the security of Israel.

There have been several Israeli parties which have changed in the lead-up to the next election.  Former Minister of Transportation Bezalel Smotrich has taken his Religious Zionist Party and split from Yamina, the party of former Defense Minister Naftali Bennett.

Hagit Moshe, Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem, won the leadership of the Jewish Home. Mr. Smotrich has called for the Jewish Home to join his faction.

Former Likud MK Gideon Sa’ar formed his own party, New Hope, in December. A poll taken recently shows that Likud has twice as many mandates as New Hope. Mr. Smotrich is not showing very much support, and may miss the electoral threshold entirely.

Likud, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is polling at around 30 mandates, six fewer than they currently hold. New Hope polls at 15 mandates, according to the latest poll commissioned for Channel 12.

Mr. Sa’ar has said that he will not join the government of Prime Minister Netanyahu. Is so, it will be difficult for Prime Minister Netanyahu to reach 61 mandates.

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David Wexelman

Author of 5 books on the internet on topics of Jewish mysticism, managing two websites.

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