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Israeli PM Netanyahu postpones UAE, Bahrain trip due to COVID-19 lockdown

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday he was postponing a trip planned next week to the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain due to Israel’s COVID-19 lockdown.

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“Prime Minister Netanyahu greatly appreciates the invitations of the Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayd and the King of Bahrain, Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, and the historic peace that has been established between our countries,” said a statement from Netanyahu’s office.

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Israel extended a national lockdown on Sunday as coronavirus variants offset its vaccination drive and officials predicted a delay in a turnaround from the health and economic crisis.

Highlighting Israel’s challenges in enforcing restrictions, thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews attended the Jerusalem funerals of two prominent rabbis on Sunday, drawing criticism from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition partners.

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