Israel allows gov’t to bypass parliament on COVID-19 decisions

The Israeli parliament passed a controversial law that allows the government full power to impose anti-coronavirus restrictions on the public.

In a 48-35 majority, lawmakers voted to allow Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to sidestep the parliament and its committees for new decisions to take effect immediately, Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday.

Under the new law, the government can declare a state of emergency and change coronavirus-related restrictions without having issues debated in the parliament first.

Israel started reopening schools and businesses in May after the outbreak was curbed following a series of restrictions imposed in March.

But recent weeks have seen a rapid resurgence of the deadly virus.

Netanyahu has been under growing public criticism over his handling of the coronavirus outbreak and the ensuing economic crisis, as many Israelis believe his government did not do enough to halt the pandemic and subsequent soaring unemployment.