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Israeli Mossad brings in 100,000 coronavirus test kits in a "complex mission"

The Mossad intelligence service brought 100,000 coronavirus test kits to Israel from abroad on Wednesday night, with plans to bring in millions more, according to reports.

The Mossad was brought in to help locate and bring in the roughly four million test kits from several unidentified countries, which will make their way to Israel soon.

However speaking with Jerusalem Post, the Health Ministry deputy director-general Itamar Grotto, “Unfortunately, what they brought is not exactly what we were lacking,” said.

A man holding an umbrella, wearing a protective face mask beneath another mask showing the face of late physicist Albert Einstein, and a hoodie sweater quoting a verse from the biblical book of Isaiah, while another waves an Israeli flag and another Israeli flag with the colours inverted during a protest outside the Knesset (parliament) in Jerusalem on March 19, 2020. AFP/File
The Mossad searched for test kits wherever possible and procured the 100,000 from two different countries, Ynet reported. Later, Al Jazeera quoted a source at Reuters who said the kits came “from one of the Gulf states” that do not recognize Israel “but coordinates with it at low level on issues related to security challenges in the region, such as Iran.”

In the last few years, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have had some contact with Israel, although ties have not been formalized.

The Mossad mission was revealed Thursday by N12 and was independently confirmed by other media outfits in Israel. The report came the same day that the Health Ministry committed to increasing the number of tests conducted daily in Israel to at least 3,000 and soon to as many as 5,000.

“This is an unusual event in which the country’s intelligence and other security agencies are working together and mobilizing to assist efforts to curb the spread of the virus,” N12 wrote in its report.

Beyond the Mossad, the Defense Ministry has been stepping up efforts to support the fight against the coronavirus. Defense Minister Naftali Bennett orchestrated the opening of two “coronavirus hotels” – one in Jerusalem and one in Tel Aviv – for people who have mild cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. In addition, he authorized the mobilization of 2,500 IDF reservists to help deal with the continued spread of the deadly virus.

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