Coronavirus Live: Netanyahu Vows to Step Up Enforcement of Regulations

Israel has seen a spike in coronavirus cases as it begins lifting restrictions on restaurants, bars, tourist attractions and other businesses. Despite the uptick, the country's number of COVID-19 patients remains low. 

■ 17,012 people in Israel have so far tested positive for the coronavirus; 284 people have died. In the West Bank and East Jerusalem, 554 people tested positive; two people have died. In the Gaza Strip, 61 people were diagnosed, 18 of whom recovered, and one person has died. 

– corona-stats

■ Coronavirus tracker: Live stats of cases and deaths


9:00 P.M. Netanyahu says coming days will be a test 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave a special speech in response to the recent spike in confirmed coronavirus cases. Netanyahu said the coming days will be "a test" to see if there is a change in trend in coronavirus infections in Israel. Netanyahu said the government will take steps to counter the spread of the virus, including increased enforcement of the coronavirus regulations and support for businesses that keep with regulations.

For now, Netanyahu said, the government is not imposing additional restrictions but may have to if citizens don't abide by regulations. Netanyahu beseeched Israelis to keep their distance from one another, wear masks, and wash their hands.

Netanyahu spoke alongside Finance Minister Yisrael Katz, who presented a plan to rehabilitate the economy. Katz spoke giving grants to businesses that bring back their employees, and added that over half a billion shekels had been budgeted for businesses.

Economy Minister Amir Peretz said following the declaration that Katz's plan was lacking and that he would bring up the issue at the next government meeting.

Health Minister Yuli Edelstein was not present at the press conference. His office issued a statement explaining that Edelstein took part in consultations by phone earlier Saturday, despite the fact that he observes the Sabbath, because the meeting would help save lives. When asked why he was not present at the press conference, his office said, "the health minister felt it was very important that the Israeli public receive this information immediately after the Sabbath, and therefore preferred not to delay the press conference while they waited for him to arrive." (Haaretz)

7:42 P.M. Number of coronavirus cases in Israel increases by 25

25 people tested positive for coronavirus on Saturday, raising the total tally of infections to 17,012, less than 2,000 of them still active. No patients died on Saturday. 

Over the Shavuot holiday there has also been a marked drop in number of tests being conducted. (Haaretz)

6:37 P.M. Tests conducted in Jerusalem after mass infection in school

– Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity reopens as Palestinians ease coronavirus curbs