Fury in cabinet over reopening

Health, Finance Ministries in uproar over whether to allow stores to reopen next week.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Netanyahu and Katz
Netanyahu and Katz
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Fierce debates erupted between the Finance and Health Ministries in discussions on the opening of stores next week. The issue will be discussed in the Coronavirus Cabinet, which will convene tomorrow (Thursday) morning.

Health Minister Yuli Edelstein (Likud) strongly opposes the opening of trade on Sunday, while Finance Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) demands that trade be opened immediately.

Edelstein maintains that the effects of the first stage of the exit from the lockdown on morbidity rates must be properly examined before the next stage is implemented.

His position is also supported by Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz (Likud), who wrote on his Twitter account tonight: "The lockdown was successful, but the atmosphere of release and calls for a quick opening could lead to disaster. A country that started to open too fast in the first wave must learn from the experience, to fend off the natural and obvious pressures, and open slowly and carefully. It is better to maintain the achievements of the second lockdown, which were achieved with great effort, rather than taking a risk of rapid deterioration which will lead to a third lockdown."

On the other hand, Minister Katz argues that it is no longer possible to wait and the economy must start to move.

The Blue and White Party supports Minister Katz's position, which will also be reflected in the cabinet discussions tomorrow.

In recent days, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has tried to mediate between the parties, but without success. Netanyahu will find it difficult to pass a decision that is completely contrary to the position of the Health Ministry.

Outgoing Coronavirus Czar Prof. Ronni Gamzu was asked about the issue and replied, "We do not rule out the opening of shops and street shops. Tomorrow the Coronavirus Cabinet will decide. We understand the complexity and difficulty of small businesses, discuss it with the Treasury and try to find solutions. But at the moment we still haven't made a decision on the issue."