Israeli Transport Minister Announces Birth of First Child via Surrogacy

Merav Michaeli was initially slammed for flouting Israel's travel recommendations and flying to the U.S., yet she revealed in a Facebook post that she and her partner, comedian Lior Schleien, welcomed their son Uri

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Michaeli addressing the Knesset plenum, last month
Michaeli addressing the Knesset plenum, last monthCredit: Noam Moscowitz

Israeli Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli announced Saturday the arrival of her first son with famous Israeli comedian Lior Shcleien via surrogate.

"Yesterday Uri was born. It was a journey with many attempts, and I'm happy I went through it. This journey does not change how I think about the inequality which makes motherhood a burden for women," 54-year-old Michaeli said, posting on Facebook to make the announcement.

Michaeli flew to the U.S. on Friday despite health ministry warnings, mandatory quarantine upon return and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's' general request to postpone any unnecessary flights.

Her choice to fly was met with harsh criticism. A spokesperson for Michaeli said in response: "The transportation minister is on a private trip to the U.S. for a few days. Needless to say she will abide by all required COVID measures."

On Monday, new travel restrictions went into effect, requiring all arrivals from all but 10 countries to quarantine for seven days. 

Passengers from Austria, Australia, Hong Kong, Hungary, Taiwan, Moldova, New Zealand, China, Singapore and the Czech Republic will not be required to enter isolation. However, only Austria, Hungary, Moldova and the Czech Republic allow Israelis to enter at the moment.

People who return from these ten countries will be required to isolate for 24 hours, or until they receive a negative COVID test result – the earlier of the two.

Israel has also updated its list of countries where travel is barred. People who wish to travel to these countries must apply for a permit via an exceptions' committee.

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