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Netanyahu warns Israelis: Virus only respects those who respect the rules

In a press briefing on rising infection numbers, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu entreats Israelis to go back to maintaining stringent hygienic precautions, warning that if the country cannot bring the coronavirus under control, there will be no choice but to bring back sweeping restrictions on the public.

He said the daily infection numbers — at around 150-170 new cases a day — are similar to those before the country’s steep rise began in late March, forcing a complete closure of the country.

“It’s climbing quickly,” Netanyahu says. “We cannot allow a situation of a return to exponential growth… We must stop this growth in time. If it continues we will be forced to bring back restrictions.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a briefing to the media at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem, June 11, 2020 (video screenshot)

He says the virus “doesn’t care about our desires, about our wishes, about our economy. It cares only about whether we keep to the rules.”

He calls on the public to closely watch the three points he abbreviates as MAMI (in Hebrew, also “sweetie”): distance, masks, and hands.

“The virus only respects those who respect the rules,” he says. “Go back to keeping the rules.”

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