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Ultra-Orthodox Jews wait to cross a closed road to go to their homes as they wear protective face masks to help curb the spread of the coronavirus in Ashdod, Israel, Thursday, July 2, 2020. Coronavirus restrictions have gone into effect in Israel after the number of new cases there hit a record high the previous day, while the West Bank prepares to go into lockdown. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Israel ordered thousands of people into quarantine after a contentious phone surveillance programme resumed as Palestinians in the West Bank returned to life under lockdown after both areas saw surges in coronavirus cases.

A statement from Israel’s Health Ministry said “many” messages had been sent to Israelis following the renewed involvement of the Shin Bet domestic security agency. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that more than 30,000 people were notified they must enter quarantine since Thursday.

“We wanted to continue and open the economy as much as possible but with the amount of infections, which appeared like a very high cliff, it forced us at this point to get involved more aggressively,” Israel’s defence minister, Benny Gantz, told Israeli Army Radio.

Al Jazeera News

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