Coronavirus Israel Live: Arab Communities Say Won’t Reopen Schools, Fearing Spike in Cases

As the world continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, Israel and the Palestinians are working to curb the spread of COVID-19 among their populations.

■ 15,870 people in Israel have so far tested positive for the coronavirus; 219 people have died. In the West Bank, 480 cases have been diagnosed so far. Two have died. In Gaza, 17 cases have been diagnosed.

– Israel’s single-use coalition will serve Trump and protect Bibi

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■ The Israeli government approved a series of steps to ease the lockdown restrictions, including allowing group prayer, partial reopening of the economy and stores, and fines for not wearing masks in public. Some coronavirus wards started closing as cases decline.

■ Coronavirus tracker: Live statistics of cases and deaths in Israel and worldwide ■ Do's and don'ts: Israel's Ministry explains coronavirus restrictions


11:36 A.M. Schools to remain close in Israel’s Arab communities amid coronavirus fears

The heads of Israel’s Arab municipalities said that schools won’t resume operation in the next two weeks. The decision comes amid parental objection to the matter and concerns that the coronavirus infection rate will continue growing within Israel's Arab society.

A situation assessment on the matter will be held over the weekend. (Jack Khoury)

– corona-stats

11:10 A.M. Israel approves entry of 50,000 Palestinian workers starting Sunday

Israel decided to allow some 50,000 Palestinian workers from the West Bank to enter the country starting Sunday.

The workers will stay in Israel during the month of Ramadan and until Eid al Fitr. In the event that the workers return to the West Bank during the aforementioned period, they won’t be allowed back in Israel until Eid al Fitr over coronavirus fears.

This is the second time Israel allows Palestinian workers to enter its territory under such conditions. The workers’ employers are responsible for their sleeping arrangements in Israel. (Hagar Shezaf)

9:53 A.M. Netanyahu mulls shelving Shin Bet tracking scheme, official says

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is considering halting legislation allowing cellphone tracking of quarantined coronavirus patients by the Shin Bet security services, Deputy Attorney General Raz Nizri said on Thursday. 

In March the government approved an emergency order allowing the Shin Bet to track the cellphone of suspected and confirmed coronavirus patients. (Jonathan Lis)

A man wears a face mask with an Israeli flag pattern, April 27, 2020.Ofer Vaknin

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9:24 A.M. Israel confirms 15,870 coronavirus cases, as number of fatalities rises to 219

The Health Ministry said that the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Israel has risen to 15,870, of whom 117 are in serious condition. The virus has so far claimed the lives of 219 Israelis, while 8,412 have recovered. (Haaretz)   

7:10 A.M. Israel lifts 500-meter restriction on outdoor sports

Israelis will be allowed to engage in physical activity with no distance limit from their home starting Thursday, as part of the steps the government is taking to ease coronavirus restrictions.