Hundreds of Israelis returning from countries with high coronavirus infection rates have entered Israel without being tested or sent into quarantine, Israeli Defense Minister Naftali Bennett admitted on Tuesday.

He was responding to a Channel 12 report, according to which, despite an announcement from his office last week assuring the country that arrivals from the United States, Italy, Spain and France would face strict testing and quarantine measures, hundreds of people had entered Israel from these countries with no restrictions whatsoever.

According to the report, Bennett’s effort to impose restrictions on travelers from these countries was nixed during a meeting hosted by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, despite the fact that non-Israelis from the same countries are banned from entering the country altogether.

In a statement on Tuesday night, Bennett urged Israel to become more self-reliant in its fight against COVID-19, stating that the Israeli Defense Ministry Directorate of Production and Procurement, as well as the Directorate of Defense Research and Development, is collaborating with Israel Aerospace Industries and medical company Inovytec to create a production line for Israeli-developed Ventway Sparrow ventilators.

The assembly line, created at a classified IAI missile production facility, has already produced 30 ventilators, according to the statement.

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