Israelis protest against Netanyahu, gov't handling of COVID-19


The authorities in the southern West Bank district of Hebron have developed a smartphone application to track Palestinians infected with COVID-19. He accused the anti-Netanyahu camp of staging violent demonstrations. Adding to his troubles, a new economic bailout plan announced by the embattled premier came under tough criticism from some of the government's top economic experts.

By late May, Israel had largely contained its outbreak following a two-month lockdown.

The number of recoveries reached 20,370, with 381 new recoveries.

With more than one in five Israelis unemployed, Netanyahu has faced mounting public anger over his handling of the crisis, with thousands of protesters holding frequent demonstrations in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, some of which have been dispersed by police. Many held posters, saying: "You are detached".

Netanyahu said that following the recent jump in the number of infections and severe cases, temporary steps were discussed to prevent a general lockdown. But cases have soared in the weeks since restrictions were lifted, with Israel reporting around 1,900 new cases on Thursday alone.

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Israel, with a population of around nine million, has reported more than 44,000 coronavirus cases and 377 deaths. The plan still requires cabinet approval.

On the evening of 11 July, Rabin Square, the heart of Tel Aviv, was filled with people angry with the executive's economic policy, the management of the Covid-19 emergency and the lack of support for businesses and individuals. A Midgam Research & Consulting poll published by Channel 12 last week found just 46 per cent of respondents approved of Netanyahu's job performance, down from 74 per cent in May.

Netanyahu said doing so would be too time-consuming. "The prime minister and finance minister are the ones who ultimately make the decisions".

"We started to implement the system according to the global criteria and in coordination with legal advisors specialized in cyber work", said Abu Tareq, another senior security officer and director of the cyber team.

Bank of Israel Governor Amir Yaron and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi of the centrist Blue and White party that has partnered with Netanyahu's Likud in the government, said the money should instead be targeted at the poorest citizens. Strategic Affairs Minister Orit Farkash Hacohen told Israel's Ynet news she would vote against the proposal "unless there are significant changes to the plan".