(December 3, 2021 / JNS) Israel announced on Thursday that it was halting mobile-phone tracing and surveillance geared to slow the spread of the new coronavirus variant, dubbed Omicron.
“The authorization to continue the surveillance will not be renewed” after it lapsed at midnight late Thursday, said Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s office, attributing it to “up-to-date situational assessments,” reported Reuters.
It was intended to be limited to only cases involving the Omicron variant
This decision came a day after Israeli State Comptroller Matanyahu Englman called for the renewed protection of individual rights and three days after the Israeli cabinet approved the return of tracking assistance by the Shin Bet intelligence agency.
“It is very important that even during a pandemic era, Israel and all of the world’s countries safeguard individual rights and act carefully, generously and swiftly,” said Englman.
“The report that I published a year ago contained faults in connection to the efficiency of this tracking,” he added.
The cabinet also decided on new international travel restrictions, according to which all non-citizens have been barred from the country, and Israeli citizens entering the country must enter three days of quarantine, to be followed by a PCR test.
The cabinet also decided to limit gatherings to 50 people, as opposed to 100, per Green Pass ordinances.
Jewish News Syndicate
With geographic, political and social divides growing wider, high-quality reporting and informed analysis are more important than ever to keep people connected.
Our ability to cover the most important issues in Israel and throughout the Jewish world—without the standard media bias—depends on the support of committed readers.
If you appreciate the value of our news service and recognize how JNS stands out among the competition, please click on the link and make a one-time or monthly contribution.
We appreciate your support.