Israel to close all land border crossings over rapid virus spread

PM says Israel managed to 'hold back' UK mutation, responsible for the surge in new cases, and needs to make sure other variants don't enter country; Deri confirms closure of Jordan River, Taba and Arava crossings until January 31

Matan Tzuri|
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that Israel will cross all its land border crossings, including with Jordan and Egypt, due to the rapid spread of coronavirus caused by the UK strain of COVID-19.
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  • Earlier this week, Israel shut down Ben Gurion Airport, grounding all flights to and from the country until January 31.
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    בנימין נתניהו
    בנימין נתניהו
    Netanyahu visits storage facility in Sderot
    (Photo: Roee Idan )
    "We will extend the sealing of our borders," he said during a tour of the coronavirus vaccine storage facility in Sderot. "We may need legislation to do so."
    The government is set to meet Thursday to discuss another lockdown extension and Netanyahu said the decision will be based on the virus infection trends and projections.
    "We have managed to hold back the British mutation and we need to ensure that new mutations that we do not even know about, do not enter Israel."
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    מעבר הגבול טאבה
    מעבר הגבול טאבה
    Taba Border Crossing
    (Photo: Meir Ohayon)
    The decision to close land borders to all departures and arrivals was confirmed by Interior Minister Aryeh Deri.
    "Following the government's decision to close Ben Gurion Airport and in order to complete the joint efforts to prevent the spread of the disease, Interior Minister Aryeh Deri announced Wednesday that the land border crossings, including Jordan River, Taba and Arava, will be closed to Israelis and foreigners," said the ministry in a statement.
    The order will come into effect on January 28 at 6am. The Allenby Bridge crossing with Jordan will remain open for the residents of the West Bank.
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