Knesset Committee Orders Reopening of Pools, Gyms Despite Opposition of PM

View of a swimming pool in Yerushalayim. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The Knesset’s Cororonavirus Committee voted Monday to reopen public pools and gyms that the Cabinet shuttered last week in an effort to curb the spread of the pandemic.

The decision came just after the office of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced that he and Health Minister Yuli Edelstein had decided to keep gyms closed while establishing criteria that would allow for the reopening of public pools.

The vote in the committee, led by MK Yifat Shasha-Biton (Likud), divided the Likud, drawing an angry response from coalition chairman MK Miki Zohar, who slammed MK Shasha-Biton for endorsing the decision to reopen pools and gyms, and threatened to have her removed from her position.

“I’m removing you from the position, you won’t remain committee chair,” said Zohar.

Earlier on Monday, Shasha-Biton said that she would personally “take responsibility for the opening of pools and gyms.”

MK Zohar has updated the House Committee head of his party’s intention to replace Shasha-Biton. Zohar wrote that a new Likud MK will be proposed at the next House Committee session.

The Blue and White party has notified the Likud that it will not seek to block the removal of Shasha-Biton after she voted to reverse the government’s decision.

The Knesset’s House Committee will meet Tuesday to discuss replacing Shasha-Biton.

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