"Our goal is to stop the increase, to reduce the contagion", which has crossed the threshold of 4,000 new cases a day, he added.
Israel is about to enter a second COVID-19 lockdown as the country experiences a resurgence in cases following what some say was a fumbled reopening.
During the lockdown, Israelis will have to stay within 500 metres of their homes but can travel to workplaces that will be allowed to operate on a limited basis.
Indoor gatherings are limited to 10 people and no more than 20 people outdoors.
"This wrongs and scorns hundreds of thousands of citizens", Housing Minister Yaakov Litzman, who heads an ultra-Orthodox Jewish party in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's conservative coalition, said in his resignation letter.
Israel's finance ministry said the lockdown will cost the economy, which has slipped into a recession in the wake of the pandemic, an estimated 6.5bn shekels ($1.88bn). "We certainly won't be able to celebrate with our extended families", Netanyahu said.
Spain's cumulative incidence, a variable closely watched by epidemiologists, showed almost 240 coronavirus infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the past two weeks, the highest in Europe.
The restrictions - the most extensive Israel will have imposed since a lockdown that ran from late March to early May - are expected to go into effect on Friday, the Jewish new year Rosh Hashana, and span into the Yom Kippur fast day on Sept 27.
Israel earned praise for its initial handling of the coronavirus outbreak, moving quickly to seal the country's borders and appearing to bring infections under control.
Israelis angry with the government over the rise in cases have cited the rapid reopening of businesses, with some arguing insufficient financial measures forced people back to work prematurely.
Schools and shopping malls will be closed but supermarkets and pharmacies will remain open.
Israel has 37,482 active coronavirus cases and 1,103 people have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began, Haaretz reports.
They blocked roads to Ben Gurion airport, from where Mr Netanyahu flew to the U.S. to attend the signing of agreements normalising ties with Bahrain and the UAE.
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