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Likud’s health minister, New Hope trade barbs over pandemic response

Health Minister Yuli Edelstein criticizes his former Likud colleague Yifat Shasha-Biton, who defected to New Hope, saying that if the government had heeded her advice on the pandemic, tens of thousands of Israelis would have died.

Shasha-Biton has been a perennial critic of the government’s health policy and in her previous role as head of the Knesset Coronavirus Committee overturned numerous regulations enacted by her own party at the start of the pandemic, including the closures of restaurants, gyms and pools.

“If we would have listened to the advice of MK Shasha-Biton, we would have tens of thousands dead,” Edelstein tells the Ynet news site.

MK Yifat Shasha-Biton at a Knesset coronavirus committee meeting on July 19, 2020. (screen capture: Knesset livestream)

Gideon Sa’ar’s New Hope hits back, saying: “Netanyahu and Edelstein are responsible for the deaths of thousands of Israelis and will be forced to answer to that before a government commission of inquiry that the New Hope government will form immediately after elections.”

Shasha-Biton is No. 2 on the New Hope list.

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