Photo Credit: Yehonatan Valtser/TPS
Soldiers of the IDF Home Front Command Apr 13, 2020

The IDF, Homefront Command, and Ministry of Defense are preparing for continued Coronavirus-related operations and will maintain their management capabilities until further notice, Defense Minister Benny Gantz instructed, following several local outbreaks in Israel.

This instruction reverses a previous directive by Gantz to close the IDF’s “Ela” unit, which has been charged with epidemiological tracing, particularly in hotspots.

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Furthermore, the defense system will continue to maintain its logistical capacities for the time being.

Gantz is to reassess the situation following further consultation, and after a clear trajectory for further government operation has been put in place in coordination with the Health Ministry, the Ministry of Defense said Monday.

Gantz spoke Monday morning with the head of the Binyamina Regional Council, Itai Weissberg, and was briefed on the status of testing and operative plans to break the current infection chain, reiterating “the defense establishment will continue to assist as necessary.”

Close to 100 children at Binyamina schools were infected in recent days with the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19.

A similar outbreak on a smaller scale occurred last week in the city of Modi’in.

The government issued a number of directives on Sunday to contend with the outbreaks, with an emphasis on Israelis returning from abroad who are importing new variants into the country, after the virus had nearly disappeared in Israel.

While the majority of Israel’s population over the age of 16 is vaccinated, the majority of the children are not and only recently were the vaccines made accessible to the 12 to 15 age group.

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Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.