Israel Hits highest Total of Confirmed Coronavirus Cases in 24 Hours

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Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz (Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto, via JTA.org)

By Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM — Israel recorded more than 1,300 new cases of the coronavirus in 24 hours ending on Wednesday morning, its highest total since the start of the pandemic.

Benny Gantz, the defense minister and prime minister designate, entered quarantine on Wednesday after he came into contact with a family member with COVID-19.


The Cabinet met to discuss whether to declare some areas with high numbers of cases restricted areas. Jerusalem is among the cities where restricted zones could be declared, Israel’s Channel 12 reported Wednesday night. The restrictions would differ in each area, including up to a complete closure.

Gantz said in a statement that he feels good and will continue to work from quarantine. His contact with the confirmed coronavirus carrier took place more than a week ago. He will have a coronavirus test.

On Tuesday, the Knesset’s Ministerial Committee on Declaring Restricted Zones declared Beitar Illit, a haredi Orthodox city in the West Bank, restricted for a week beginning on Wednesday.

The Cabinet directed the Ministerial Committee on Declaring Restricted Zones to meet following the formulation of final recommendations from the Health Ministry. Other cities that could be declared restricted are Ashdod, Beit Shemesh, Bnei Brak, Kiryat Malachi, Lod, Modiin Illit, Ramla and Raanana.

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