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Bennett's historic UAE trip ends in quarantine after contact with confirmed COVID carrier

Defense Minister Benny Gantz accused of violating isolation following trip to the US

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett leads a Cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on Dec. 12, 2021. (Photo: Emil Salman/POOL)

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has gone into quarantine after a member of his delegation to the United Arab Emirates tested positive for COVID-19.

The person who tested positive had been on the prime minister's flight returning from a historic visit to the UAE. Bennett was already in his three-day mandatory quarantine, as per the new Ministry of Health regulations, when he received the notification.

Bennett's government has recently enacted strict measures to combat the spread of the Omicron strain, including increasing quarantine times and shutting the skies to foreigners. The Prime Minister's office decided to downsize the number of journalists who accompanied Bennett on the two-day trip to the UAE.

More stringent restrictions are expected to be voted on later this week.

Meanwhile, Defense Minister Benny Gantz, who returned from meetings in the United States, was also required to quarantine for three days. However, a rival Knesset member, accused him of violating the isolation rules and attending discussions and votes at the Knesset.

"Benny Gantz violated isolation. I went up to the section of the Knesset reserved for those in isolation, he was sitting there with the door open and without a mask. This is a violation of isolation for which the fine is 5,000 shekels. Citizens of Israel will pay 5,000 shekels for violating isolation, while the defense minister sits with a Knesset member. Such disregard for human life," Moshe Arbel, of the Shas party, said.

Gantz's office denied the charge.

"Gantz has been following the procedures since he arrived at the Knesset and Knesset Member Yael Ron Ben-Moshe did not enter the isolation room," his office said in a statement.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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