The Bank of Israel bought “hundreds of millions” of dollars of foreign currency on Monday, dealers said, after the shekel continued to strengthen for a fifth straight session. One dealer at an Israeli bank said the central bank started buying at a dollar-shekel rate of around 3.84. The exchange rate, which quickly moved to 3.85, had weakened to 3.90 on June 27 in the wake of the Brexit vote.

The central bank declined to comment. Its move came after financial newspaper TheMarker reported that the bank’s intervention policy had come under fire by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s chief economics advisor, Avi Simhon, who was quoted as saying that intervention was tantamount to a protective tariff that raises prices for consumers by deterring import competition. READ MORE