Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel / Flash 90
Protesters scuffle with police during a protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outside outside the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's official residence in Jerusalem on July 21, 2020.

Israel’s Ministry of Health reported Saturday evening that the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 rose to a total of 72,163 since the start of the pandemic.

The ministry said since Friday morning, 1,358 Israelis were diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus. A total of 22,890 were carried out on Friday, but not all the results have been received thus far, and the totals may yet change in subsequent updates.

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As of Saturday night, there were 26,542 active cases of the virus, with 757 patients who are hospitalized; 328 are listed in very serious condition, including 95 people who require ventilator support.

Sadly, 11 Israelis died from COVID-19 over the weekend, bringing the country’s death toll to 523, according to the Health Ministry.

Officials Worry About Protests Spreading Coronavirus
Meanwhile, as the protests against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continue to grow in size and raison d’etre, so too does concern by public health officials over the likelihood of spreading coronavirus at these events.

On Saturday night, the protests continued, increasing the likelihood that the virus would continue to be spread as well, since none of the protesters were observing social distancing during their demonstrations.

The protests, which got started ostensibly due to the severe economic fallout from the pandemic, have now been taking place for weeks in front of the prime minister’s official residence in Jerusalem, in public venues in Tel Aviv, and in front of his private residence in Caesarea.

But they’re growing in some very odd ways: it is rare — or possibly not even ever — that anyone has ever seen an Israeli protest declare the need to go “international” against a prime minister. This smacks of a lot more than simple outrage over the economy, coronavirus restrictions or event the current court cases against the prime minister.

Where else have we seen that pattern, readers?

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