Iron fistHow Israel's “Iron-Fist” Approach to the Coronavirus Led to the World's Worst Second Wave

Published 13 July 2020

As the number of infections climbed steadily in March, the army and Israel’s security agencies were deployed to help control the outbreak, while all borders were sealed to foreigners and citizens urged not to travel more than a hundred yards beyond their homes. James Rothwell writes in The Telegraph that by mid-May, the rate of infection had fallen to just a few dozen cases per day, prompting Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, to reopen the economy and declare a victory over the virus. But this week, Israel is struggling to contain a severe second wave of coronavirus which has unleashed more than 1,000 infections per day, overwhelmed testing capacity and led to the country’s top health official resigning from the government in protest. Just weeks after lifting its tough lockdown measures, Israel’s Covid-19 infection rate has increased by more than 500 per cent, with some 1,600 new cases recorded on Thursday alone.