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Israel’s virus death toll passes 1,500, with 500 victims added in three weeks

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Israel’s coronavirus death toll passed 1,500 on Monday night, the latest Health ministry data showed, with over 500 new deaths recorded in some three weeks. The death toll stood at 1,507, with 19 fatalities recorded Monday.

The latest grim numbers came as new diagnoses and seriously ill patients remained on the rise as did the percentage of tests coming back positive — with the prime minister warning of a potential 1,500 serious cases by week’s end, and with officials fearing the national lockdown could be required to last weeks longer than originally planned.

With the Jewish High Holiday of Yom Kippur over, police were preparing to step up enforcement considerably starting Tuesday, Channel 12 reported.

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This would include dozens of new checkpoints on highways between cities, with stringent checks of vehicles; increased inspection of at commerce centers and businesses and punitive action for those operating against health regulations; and heightened presence near synagogues, considered high-risk locations. Police at a termporary roadblock in Jerusalem on September 27, 2020, during a nationwide lockdown (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

“Where we see violations [of the rules], and we’ve seen more than a few violations this past week, we’ll hand out fines, too,” Chief Superintendent Roee Waldman, head of Police’s Investigations Department, told the network.

On Monday night, as Yom Kippur ended, police responded to several incidents of ultra-Orthodox Israelis........

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