Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Thursday slammed Israelis who refuse to get vaccinated against coronavirus, saying they are "hurting all of us," as the country battles a resurgence of COVID-19.
Israel had lifted almost all virus restrictions in May following a rapid vaccination campaign, but the spread of the Delta variant has led to the surge in new COVID cases, prompting the government to reinstate a host of health curbs.
"Our challenge is clear - all Israelis who can be vaccinated must be vaccinated," Bennett said during a press conference at the IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv.
"Vaccine refusers endager our health, environment and freedom of all Israeli citizens. Our freedom to work, our children's freedom to learn, freedom to celebrate with our family. Vaccine refusers are hurting us all," he said.
"If everyone gets vaccinated, everyone will be able to maintain their daily routine."
In an unprecedented manner, Bennett also asked the public to pressure those around them who refuse to get vaccinated into getting the shots.
"I appeal to anyone who knows a vaccine refuser, convince him, explain to him that he must not harm others. Do not give up."
The prime minister also confirmed a decision taken by the coronavirus cabinet hours earlier to bring back the Green Pass mandate.
"If a million Israelis continue to remain unvaccinated, it will eventually force the other eight million to shut themselves in their homes.
"Therefore, the cabinet made a decision today that from August 8, a vaccine refuser will not be able to enter a cinema, theater, synagogue, amusement park, soccer game or any other activity attended by more than 100 people - indoors or outdoors," he said.
According to the outline, children below the age of 12 will receive an exemption from the Green Pass mandate and will be able to enter mass events without providing coronavirus tests, including for example cinemas and children's live shows.
"There is no reason for taxpayers and those who have fulfilled their civil duty to get vaccinated, to fund checks for those who have refused," Bennett added.