The Cabinet is set to convene Sunday morning to discuss the possibility of re-imposing a general lockdown on Israel as coronavirus spreads, prompting Construction and Housing Minister Yaakov Litzman to threaten with resignation if such a move is approved.
Litzman, a member of the ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism party, sought to prevent ministers from imposing restrictions on prayer on the High Holidays, during which many gather for mass prayers.
Litzman bashed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for refraining from imposing a lockdown in August, when coronavirus infection rates already soared, and dragging the decision to the holidays.
Two United Torah Judaism senior officials said that Litzman launched the threats on his own accord without consulting anyone in the party and criticized him for the timing of his remarks as discussions over a draft bill for yeshiva students and budgets are coming to a conclusion.
In recent meetings, Litzman has led a firm line against the possibility of closure and against coronavirus czar, Prof. Ronni Gamzu, who he accused of "wanting to overthrow the government." Litzman's remarks were recorded while the microphone on his computer remained open during a Zoom call.
Litzman also warned back in August that his United Torah Judaism party would consider resigning from the government if Israel goes into lockdown during the High Holidays in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.