Photo Credit: Yossi Aloni / Flash 90
Israeli children ages 5 to 11 receive the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, at Maccabi Healthcare Services vaccination center in Modi'in, November 22, 2021.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett instructed health officials to begin an additional antigen test campaign in Israeli schools after Chanukah.

The directive came during a meeting of the Coronavirus Cabinet held Tuesday night (Nov. 23).

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The ministers also continued Sunday’s discussion of preparations for Chanukah performances, and decided to extend the regulations implementing the Green Pass plan and the restrictions on occupancy in closed spaces by two weeks, pending approval by the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee.

In addition, the Cabinet decided the existing situation will continue and that the coronavirus directives will be neither relaxed nor tightened at this stage.

Attending the discussion were the Health Minister, the Foreign Minister, the Education Minister, the Interior Minister, the Justice Minister, the Housing and Construction Minister, the Culture and Sports Minister, Social Equality Minister, the Tourism Minister, the minister in the Finance Ministry, the Innovation and Science Minister, the Chairman of the Federation of Local Authorities, the Prime Minister’s Office Director General, the Health Ministry Director General, the Public Security Ministry Director General, the national coronavirus project manager, the Director of the Public Health Service, the Finance Ministry Budget Director, the Deputy Attorney General, the Deputy Director of the National Security Council, GOC Home Front Command, the Defense Ministry Director of Civil Defense and other professional officials.

Earlier in the day, Israel launched its pediatric COVID-19 vaccine campaign for children ages 5 to 11. The prime minister’s nine-year-old son David was among the first, and received his first inoculation with the Pfizer BioNTech pediatric COVID-19 vaccine.

Bennett told reporters the vaccine “safeguards both children and parents, and the entire State of Israel,” and called on “all Israeli parents to come and have their children vaccinated. It is safe and it safeguards our children.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.
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