Netanyahu: Coronavirus Still A Danger In Israel; Iran Continues To Create Nuclear Bomb

By | June 8, 2020

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel — June 7, 2020 … Following are Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks, today at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting:

“In the world today there are almost seven million people infected with the coronavirus, which has now claimed the lives of approximately 400,000 people. Also in our region, the situation has not improved. In addition to Iran and Turkey, which together have several tens of thousands dead, we have also witnessed recently a sharp increase in Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia opened mosques and then closed them in light of this outbreak. Even here in Israel, we have seen a sharp increase in rates of infection in recent days. As I have constantly said: The virus is here. It is not a figment of either my imagination or of anyone else’s. Countries that reduced the assessment of danger regarding the pandemic and adopted a very lenient and very liberal policy understood that they have no choice but to take steps and impose restrictions that we took at the outset, after they have absorbed thousands of dead.”

“Whoever said at the outset that there was no danger in Israel or that there is no danger now, misled the public and encouraged behavior that endangered both the public health and the lives of many people. Part of the clear increase in the rate of infection that we have seen in Israel in the past eight days stems from – and it was expected – from the measures we enacted to ease restrictions in order to open up our economy. But some of it also clearly stems from a loosening in strict adherence to the rules regarding masks, distancing and hygiene.”

“Even if we neutralize the outbreak at the Hebrew Gymnasia [high school] in Jerusalem and the outbreak in the schools, we see a clear increase in considerable sections of the country and of the population. Therefore, I am convening the Corona Cabinet tomorrow morning. We will consider the necessary steps in light of the upsurge in the pandemic, including in schools, public transportation and in other areas as well.”

“At the same time, this week we will hold a meeting with the Israeli Finance Minister and his professional people, and with all of the economic ministers, at which we will be updated on the steps we have taken to put people back to work and the necessary steps to help small businesses and businesses in general to go back to routine activity.”

“There are preliminary encouraging signs of economic recovery; we see this. Businesses and restaurants are opening, sometimes too many. We see this recovery, but its continuation depends on you, citizens of Israel.”

Today, the Israeli Defense Minister, Health Minister and myself will go to the Israel Institute for Biological Research in Nes Ziona where we will be updated on the progress in efforts to find a vaccine. We all hope and pray that these efforts will succeed, but it is impossible to build on them – not on these and not on what is occurring at the other institutes and companies around the world. We all need to understand that we are expected to live in the coronavirus routine for a long time. With being strict about wearing masks, distancing and hygiene, we will be unable to meet our goals or put the economy back on track. Therefore, I ask you – strictly follow the rules for health, for life and for jobs.”

“In this context, today we will discuss the corona law, which is designed to balance between the need to take rapid steps to halt the pandemic and the need to the individual rights that are dear to us all.”

“Over the weekend, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) determined that Iran had refused to allow IAEA inspectors access to clandestine sites at which Iran had carried out secret military nuclear activity.”

“Iran has systematically violated its commitments by hiding sites and enriching fissionable material, and has committed other violations. I believe that the time has come, and I think that the time has passed, but reality certainly requires it in the light of these revelations, for the international community to join the US and reimpose paralyzing sanctions on Iran.”

“In any case, the coronavirus has not lessened by one iota our determination to act against Iran’s aggression. I reiterate: Israel will not allow Iran to achieve nuclear weapons and will continue to act methodically against Iran’s attempts to militarily entrench on our borders.”

Netanyahu concludes: “What happened with Iyad Al-Halak is a tragedy. This was a man with disabilities, autism, who was suspected – we know wrongly – of being a terrorist in a very sensitive place. I know that the inquiries are being made. We all share in the family’s sorrow. I think that this embraces the entire Israeli public, as well as the entire Israeli government. I await your full inquiries on this matter. Of course, this does not justify the wild assault on former MK Yehidah Glick, and I am certain that justice will be done here as well.”

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