Knesset Extends Digital Tracking of Coronavirus Patients Until Tuesday

Israeli police guard at a roadblock on a road in Yerushalayim, on Wednesday. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

The Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee approved Thursday that the Shin Bet be allowed to continue their digital tracking of coronavirus carriers until next Tuesday at midnight.

The High Court earlier in the week ruled that the tracking must stop by Thursday, unless the law is changed to enable that, rather than using emergency regulations without Knesset oversight.

The initial extension request of seven days submitted by the government was not accepted by the committee.

But the Knesset is giving the government extra time to decide whether it wants to legislate the digital tracking. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is set to lead a discussion Sunday on whether to begin the legislative process or give up digital tracking.

Director of Public Health for the Health Ministry, Prof. Sigal Sadetzki, said during an Intelligence Sub-Committee hearing that “it is perfectly clear to us that without the use of the Shin Bet [digital tracking], people would break quarantine and we would lose track of many patients, and therefore it is clear we are doing it for the good of the country.”

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