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Science minister backtracks on plans to quit over lockdown

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Science and Technology Minister Izhar Shay backtracked from plans to quit the government in protest over lockdown rules late Thursday.

The Blue and White party minister had been set to announce his resignation after a stormy cabinet meeting during which limits on protest attendance were approved, according to reports. However after meeting with faction head Defense Minister Benny Gantz, the party put out a statement saying that Shay had decided to remain on board.

According to the party, Shay and Gantz met over Zoom and discussed their shared values and their commitment to reducing divisions within society,

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“I joined the party to implement together with the head of the party our shared values, foremost love for Israel, unity and national reconciliation. We will continue to work together for all Israeli citizens and the State of Israel,” Shay was quoted saying in the party statement.

Shay, who will continue to be the party’s point-man on virus-related matters, was reportedly incensed by the way the cabinet moved to approve the tightened lockdown, as well as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s insistence on shutting down the economy, which critics say was only done to justify clamping down on protests against him.

Gantz had asked Shay to hold off on the move and not submit his letter of resignation until the two had met,........

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