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Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu Tests Negative for Coronavirus

© REUTERS / Gali TibbonIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu - Sputnik International
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Haaretz reported earlier in the day that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's corruption trial that was scheduled to begin on 17 March has been postponed for over two months until 24 May due to the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country.

Benjamin Netanyahu has tested negative for coronavirus, his office revealed on Sunday. The prime minister decided to be tested despite not showing any symptoms before the check, according to an official statement.

The statement comes after the prime minister stated that Israel would use counter-terrorism technology to detect coronavirus patients and those who skip mandatory quarantine.

All foreigners entering the country have been required to self-isolate for 14 days, while all schools, restaurants, cafes, gyms, and most of businesses have been shut.

According to the Israeli Health Ministry, the number of Israelis who have contracted the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) rose to 127 on 13 March amid the nation’s struggle to contain the spread.

Judge's hammer. (File) - Sputnik International
Israeli PM Netanyahu's Trial Postponed Due to Coronavirus Crisis - Reports
The decision to postpone Netanyahu's corruption trial was made days after a district court in the city of Jerusalem rejected a request by Netanyahu's defence to delay his trial for 45 days earlier this week. The lawyers explained their request by saying that they have not yet received the investigation materials in full.

In late January, Israel’s Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit officially filed criminal charges against Netanyahu, who has long been the subject of multiple corruption investigations. The charges include bribery, fraud, and breach of trust.

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