Weekend lockdown in Israel from 5pm Friday

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media captionCoronavirus Israel’s ultra Orthodox lockdown challenge

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionCoronavirus Israel’s ultra Orthodox lockdown challenge

The government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has planned to annex Jewish settlements in the West Bank as well as the strategic Jordan Valley.

During the cabinet meeting, the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said the government's goal was to stop gatherings of people, but added that the new steps may not be "scientific".

"While recognizing the legitimate and sensitive security concerns of both the Palestinian and the Israeli peoples, Sri Lanka is of the view that the proposed annexation plan will only contribute to further deepening the crisis and jeopardize hopes of both the Palestinian and the Israeli peoples to achieve real progress towards sustainable peace", the envoy said.

"The situation of the pandemic is not under control at all because it is spreading in more than one spot and people don't follow up social distancing", she said.

"During the riots, 50 suspects of disturbing public order, causing property damage and assaulting police officers and media representatives were detained", a police spokesperson said.

Late in the evening, several hundred protesters marched through central Jerusalem, with some blocking the city's rail line.

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The Israeli government chaired by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made a decision to reintroduce a number of preventive measures that enter into effect on Friday evening amid a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases in the country over the last few weeks, the government's press service has said.

The number of COVID-19 deaths across Israel climbed to 392, as the total number of patients in critical condition reached 208.

Netanyahu faces his next trial date at a Jerusalem district court on July 19.

The Israeli leader is also fighting three corruption allegations, including charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust - accusations he denies, dismissing them as part of a politically-motivated witch-hunt.

In May, Netanyahu formed a new coalition government with retired military chiefs Benny Gantz and Gabi Ashkenazi after more than a year of political unrest.

Netanyahu has been under growing public criticism over his handling of the coronavirus outbreak and the ensuing economic crisis, as many Israelis believe his government had not done enough to halt the pandemic and help the soaring number of unemployed people. In February, before the coronavirus outbreak, Israel's unemployment rate stood at just 3.9 percent.

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