Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Wednesday said another lockdown will "ruin" the future of the country as Israel battles the new surge of coronavirus cases.
Israel on Tuesday recorded over 8,000 single-day COVID cases for the first time since February 1, while the tally of severe cases passed the threshold of 600 for the first time since March.
Bennett during a special press conference said despite the spread of the delta variant, he is not in favor of implementing another lockdown, which he said would be economically devastating.
"If we continue with lockdowns, there will be no money for Iron Dome missiles or armoured personnel carriers. A lockdown will destroy the future of the country," he told the reporters.
"Lockdown is the last line of defense, when all other options have been exhausted. The [three previous] lockdowns cost us NIS 200 billion. We will all have to repay this debt. Every family in Israel has fallen into debt of NIS 105,000 as a result."
The prime minister said the way to defeat the "delta epidemic" is by vaccinating as many people as possible and provide booster shots to those who already have received the first two jabs.
"Out of 105 [recent] coronavirus deaths, 103 did not complete the required vaccinations. There is no place for a second opinion. There is science and facts here that prove vaccines save lives."
He added the government will likely on Thursday approve third vaccine shots to Israelis over the age of 40.
"I call on those who have not received the third vaccine - to do so immediately. The country is not a babysitter, do not wait for someone to take you to get vaccinated"