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Minister accuses Bennett of making COVID exception for ‘white countries’ in Africa

Immigrant Absorption Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata speaks at the annual Jerusalem Conference organized by Channel 20 in Jerusalem, on March 16, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
Immigrant Absorption Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata speaks at the annual Jerusalem Conference organized by Channel 20 in Jerusalem, on March 16, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Immigration and Absorption Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata accuses Prime Minister Naftali Bennett of banning only African nations with black populations over COVID concerns.

Last month, Israel added most nations in Africa to its list of “red countries” — to which Israelis are not allowed to enter, and from which returnees must complete full quarantine. According to Hebrew media reports, Tamano-Shata — a native of Ethiopia — accuses Bennett on “only making exceptions for white countries in Africa.”

Northern African nations including Egypt, Algeria and Morocco are only listed as “orange” on the Health Ministry’s rankings.

Bennett reportedly responded that the steps were necessary in order to protect against the concerning Omicron variant, which was believed to originate in South Africa.

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