(August 17, 2020 / JNS) The Israeli Cabinet on Sunday approved an NIS 8.5 billion ($2.5 billion) aid package to stimulate the country’s struggling economy, which has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
The aim of the plan—presented by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Israel Katz—is to “accelerate the economy, and assist government ministries and populations at risk in dealing with the [coronavirus] crisis,” according to a government statement.
The package includes “incentives for our economy” and will create jobs, said Netanyahu.
“The decision allocates budgets for a series of projects in transportation, infrastructures for housing, technology and high-tech, tourism, sports, social welfare, energy efficiency and other fields,” said the government statement.
Also on Sunday, Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics reported that Israel’s GDP dropped by 28.7 percent during the second quarter of 2020, its sharpest decline in more than 40 years.
“The economic situation is the most difficult in the state’s [72-year] history,” Katz told Israel’s Army Radio.
However, in a statement on social media, Netanyahu maintained that the decline in the Israeli economy in a quarterly configuration is 7.8 percent, “among the smallest drops in the world.”
He said only South Korea and “perhaps another two, three countries” had weathered the economic storm better than Israel during the period of April through June.
Support Jewish Journalism
with 2020 Vision
One of the most intriguing stories of the sudden Coronavirus crisis is the role of the internet. With individuals forced into home quarantine, most are turning further online for information, education and social interaction.
JNS's influence and readership are growing exponentially, and our positioning sets us apart. Most Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas. JNS is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.
During this crisis, JNS continues working overtime. We are being relied upon to tell the story of this crisis as it affects Israel and the global Jewish community, and explain the extraordinary political developments taking place in parallel.
Our ability to thrive in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters. Monthly donations in particular go a long way in helping us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make during these challenging times. We thank you for your ongoing support and wish you blessings for good health and peace of mind.