Netanyahu denies political considerations affected plan to ease lockdown

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu again denies any political considerations in the government’s decision to ease the national coronavirus virus lockdown, after criticism of the decision to reopen preschools and daycare centers in virus hotspots, all of which are predominantly ultra-Orthodox.

“We did not agree to any change in the plan presented by the [health] experts and I forcefully reject the claims of political considerations. There were no such considerations,” he says during the start of the weekly cabinet meeting in a video statement released by his office.

He defends the decision to approve a gradual multi-stage plan for lifting the lockdown and calls on all Israelis to adhere to the restrictions still in place. He insists a “siege” will be maintained around “red” cities, which have the highest infection rates.

“I call on the Haredi public to follow the regulations. Many are following them, but there is also a large population that doesn’t follow them,” he says.

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