Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with less than a week before the country’s national elections, is no longer sharking hands while he campaigns as fears increase over the coronavirus, The Times of Israel is reporting.
Netanyahu was filmed refusing to shake hands with people he met while visiting the Tomb of the Patriarch’s in Hebron on Tuesday, the newspaper noted. His decision to stop doing so came six days before the elections.
In a video on Israeli television, a person is seen reaching out his hand to the prime minister, the newspaper said. An aide to Netanyahu is heard saying: “No handshakes.”
According to the newspaper, Netanyahu is then seen bowing slightly and saying: “Namaste.”
In the background, Netanyahu’s wife Sara is heard saying that the decision to stop shaking hands came “at the government’s instruction.”
A source, however, told the Times the prime minister made the decision because he “meets with thousands of (campaign) activists daily.”
The Tomb of the Patriarchs was listed as one of the sites on the itinerary of a group of South Koreans who visited Israel earlier in the month, according to the newspaper.
South Korean’s tally of cases of the coronavirus rose to 977, fueling fears the outbreak is developing into a pandemic.
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