The extension comes as Israel had forecasted that coronavirus cases and deaths would decrease by mid-January, a prediction that did not end up coming true, according to Reuters. Israeli officials point to more contagious foreign strains and noncompliance within the country for the continuing high COVID-19 statistics.
Cabinet officials reportedly sparred over how long to stretch the lockdown, with Netanyahu and Health Ministry officials arguing for at least a week longer, while Defense Minister Benny Gantz pushed for it to conclude no later than Thursday, according to The Times of Israel.
Israel, a country 9,2 million had 643,435 COVID-19 cases. 4796 people died. This converts to 69,957 per million population cases and puts Israel in position 11 in the world.