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Political insurrection? Tel Aviv mayor to open city ahead of rest of country

Announcement today puts mayor is in defiance of national government; Health minister accuses him of seeking political gain

Mayor of Tel Aviv Ron Huldai attends the annual international Municipal Innovation Conference in Tel Aviv, on February February 19, 2020. (Photo: Miriam Alster/Flash90)

In what opponents have called a political move, Tel Aviv-Jaffa Mayor Ron Huldai, who just formed his own party that will compete in the upcoming March 23 elections, said he will open all cultural venues on Feb. 1 - ahead of the rest of the country.

"We will not wait for Bibi-Ganz's government that cannot manage anything," Huldai said Sunday morning referring to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz. "We believe in actions and not talk. That's how you really return to life and not just deal with press conferences. "

"Since we already have a large number of people vaccinated with a green (passport), we will open the cultural establishments," Huldai told Kan news. "It is impossible to wait until the last day before the election for Netanyahu to say, 'Here, look I opened this for you.'"

Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said that Huldai is playing politics at the risk of public health.

"Ron Huldai's lawlessness, which began with the distribution of vaccines contrary to the decision of the priority committee consisting only of professionals, and continues to open places dangerously, is scandalous and should light a warning light for every citizen for whom public health is important."

This comes as the government is considering lengthening the current lockdown, going three weeks strong already, another week at least.

Deputy Health Minister Yoav Kish called it "anarchy and populism while Israel faces an increase in morbidity and fights for the lives of critically ill people."

"Huldai's pathetic attempts to garner votes on the backs of Tel Aviv residents could endanger human lives," he said.

Nicole Jansezian was the news editor and senior correspondent for ALL ISRAEL NEWS.

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