Netanyahu, speaking to reporters, claims protesters outside his home are turning off their cellphones to avoid Shin Bet tracking that would put them in isolation over exposure to the coronavirus at the mass gatherings.
He is asked to address Health Ministry data indicating the weekly demonstrations are not driving up infections, and says, “Permit me to smile.”
“They shut off their phones,” the prime minister says, adding that others are doing likewise to avoid detection.
Will Israel be in a lockdown over Rosh Hashanah? “I don’t know,” says Netanyahu, adding that the government is doing everything to avoid — or at least delay — such a move.
As he speaks, Netanyahu tweets a letter that he sent to the leaders of the opposition Yair Lapid, Avigdor Liberman, Naftali Bennett, and Ayman Odeh.
In the letter, the prime minister says he expects the politicians to “clarify to the public that the rules must be followed in their entirety.”
Netanyahu says politicians are encouraging Israelis to stop heeding the government’s health rules and fail to listen to police orders, in a reference to Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman.
“This is anarchy,” he says.
“Show responsibility, stop this inappropriate… behavior,” he says.