With 3,150 new COVID-19 diagnoses confirmed the previous day, a new daily high for Israel, ministers were set to meet Thursday to decided on additional restrictions in highly infected areas.
The list of category "red" coronavirus hotspots will be dramatically expanded and will include 31 towns and communities, along with 12 Jerusalem neighborhoods, all predominantly Arab except the Old City's Jewish Quarter.
The neighborhoods named on the list are At-Tur, al-Shaykh, As-Sawana, Anatot Industrial Zone, the Old City's Muslim, Armenian Jewish and Christian Quarters, Wadi al-Jouz, Shuafat, Issawiya and Sheikh Jarrah.
The rest include the towns of Abu Sanan, Umm al-Fahm, Elad, Ibelin, Buqata, Beit Jann, Bnei Brak, Jaljulia, Jat, Daliyat al-Carmel, Zemer, Tiberias, Taibeh, Tira, Kasra Samia, Kaabiyah Tabash-Hajjajra, Kfar Bara, Kfar Kanna, Kfar Qassem, Lakia, Sheikh Danon, Ma'ale Iron, Nazareth, Ein Mahel, Isfahan, Arara, Fordis, Qalansawa, Rekhasim and Kfar Aza.
Category "red" communities are subject to the most severe coronavirus restrictions, with outdoor gatherings limited to 20 people and indoor gatherings limited to only 10 people.
As of Thursday, Israel is ranked 26 worldwide in number of coronavirus cases, with 122,799 Israelis having been infected since the outbreak of the pandemic.
The Ministerial Committee on the coronavirus is also set to discuss Prof. Ronni Gamzu's proposed restrictions to be imposed on "red zone" communities, which include shuttering schools, curfews and local lock-downs.
A senior official said Thursday that the ministers are unlikely to discuss a possible nationwide lock-down, though further deliberations may be needed after September 10, the date by which Prof. Gamzu's plan to combat the spread of the virus will be fully implemented.