Parliament sessions in Israel are on hold after a legislator repeatedly photographed withoutÂ a mask tested positive for the coronavirus.Â
â€œAll Knesset workers have been instructed to not arrive at parliament if their work is not essential,” a statement from parliament said. Committee meetings were also postponed Thursday â€œuntil all the ramifications are examined.â€Â
Sami Abu Shehadeh, a member of the Joint List coalition in parliament, received a positive test result Wednesday evening. The other members of the Balad party, his faction of the Joint List, are currently in quarantine.Â
“I appeal to all of those who have been in my immediate vicinity to self-isolate and get tested,â€ Shehadeh tweeted. He continued, â€œThe virus still exists between us and the return to normal is helping the virus spread in a large and fast way.â€Â
He told an Israeli radio station that he has recently â€œmet with thousands of peopleâ€ during various protests, family events and Knesset activities. Local television outlets showed Shehadeh without a mask during several of these meetings.Â
On Thursday, aÂ lawmaker in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahuâ€™s conservative Likud party referred to Shehadehâ€™s diagnosis as a â€œterror attackâ€ carried out by his prominently Arab political party. Fateen Mulla later walked back those comments, insisting he meant â€œpolitical attack.â€Â Â
Last month, Israelâ€™s parliament swore in a new government led by Netanyahu with his former rival Benny Gantz as his deputy. As part of the unity government deal, Netanyahu can advance plans to annex parts of the Palestinian territories, including the strategic Jordan Valley, as soon as July 1.Â Â
This story contains reporting from Agence France-Presse.