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The Bank of Israel announced on Thursday that it’s planning to buy $30 billion of foreign currency in 2021 to curb the appreciation in the Israeli new shekel (ILS). Earlier in the day, the USD/ILS pair touched its lowest level since 1996 at 3.1141.

With the initial market reaction, USD/ILS shot higher and was last seen gaining 2% at 3.1886.

In an interview with Reuters, Bank of Israel’s Deputy Governor, Andrew Abir, said that they failed in their attempt to “talk down the shekel” and added that they will monitor the situation in the market to see if they need to do more.

“So we’ve come out today with a statement which is based on action,” Abir explained. “It’s not just verbal saying the shekel should be weaker. It’s based on ‘this is what we’re going to do.”

USD/ILS 1-hour chart