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Israel Controversially Tightens Lockdown as Virus Cases Soar

  • Ministers balk at proposal to shut synagogues on Yom Kippur
  • New virus cases ballooned to nearly 7,000 on Tuesday

Photographer: Jalaa Marey/AFP via Getty Images

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The Israeli government sharply tightened its lockdown restrictions for the next two weeks to try to rein in a galloping Covid outbreak, over the objections of the economy’s stewards and the country’s coronavirus czar.

Just last week, the government imposed its second lockdown since the pandemic began. With daily new infections surging dramatically, the cabinet voted early Thursday to clamp down even harder during a season of major Jewish holidays, taking the unprecedented step of shuttering all workplaces except those deemed essential. Markets slumped.