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Coronavirus: Second Israeli cabinet member tests positive

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An Israeli Cabinet minister says he has tested positive for the coronavirus, becoming the second minister of Israel to contract the virus.

Minister for Jerusalem and Heritage Rafi Peretz tweeted late Saturday that he received a positive result after being tested the previous day. He said he felt well.

Peretz is the second Israeli minister to have been infected with the virus. Israel’s former health minister, Yaakov Litzman, also contracted it and later recovered.

Israeli media reported that contact tracing was being conducted to determine whether Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or other legislators would need to self-isolate following Peretz’ diagnosis.

Israel is experiencing a surge in coronavirus cases after having largely contained an earlier outbreak in the spring.

Thousands protested against Netanyahu across Israel on Saturday night, demanding he resign over alleged corruption and a resurgence of coronavirus cases.

The protests took place at scores of intersections and bridges, where people held banners accusing Netanyahu of “failure” and calling for his resignation, as well as outside his private residence in the northern town Caesarea.

The main event took place outside the prime minister’s official residence in Jerusalem, where organizers said thousands demanded Netanyahu step down.

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