Israel has passed a law banning mass protests during the corona virus lockdown. Opponents of the government claim to suppress demonstrations that exploit the health crisis. Benjamin Netanyahu To resign as Prime Minister.
The controversial law was passed at 4.30am local time (GMT 1.30am) on Wednesday after a night session of the Knesset, the country’s parliament. It allows the government to restrict people from traveling more than a kilometer from their homes to demonstrate and to ban do-door gatherings of more than 20 people.
Critics say weekly rallies in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, with thousands of people, are being blamed Their anger raged He denies Netanyahu’s handling of the epidemic and allegations of corruption.
Hundreds of people gathered on Tuesday to condemn the new rules.
“I think we can see that they are not aimed at preventing the pandemic or corona virus, but it is a political regulation to prevent and kill demonstrations against Netanyahu,” said actor Yaniev Segel, who has been out of work for several months.
“It simply came to our notice then. It only serves to stifle resistance against a prime minister who is accused of corruption and a number of crimes. ”
Netanyahu’s ruling Likud party has previously called for the ban to remain in place after the lockdown, but lawmakers have rejected the proposal. The new rule can only be used during lockdown.
After the law was passed, opposition leader Yer Lapid tweeted: “What is the next step? Is the Leader of the Opposition barred from addressing Parliament? ”
Israel has the highest per capita corona virus infection rate in the world, and a military organization Said Tuesday The per capita death toll in the country has surpassed the US.
Although a spring lockdown has brought the infection rate to a very low level, the country is reopening very quickly and with some restrictions, officials say.
“It simply came to our notice then. We did not notice how we came out of the last lockdown and I think we are not doing enough to reduce the incidence of infection and disease, ”Hessie Levy, director general of the Ministry of Health, told Public Radio.
A Lockdon for three weeks The imposition this month forced the country to close and largely close all essential businesses.
Protest Leaders have questioned the science behind the new laws, arguing that open air rallies do not cause significant infections, especially when compared to indoor religious gatherings, which are classified as hotspots.
Netanyahu’s critics have blamed the prime minister’s government for pushing Jewish extremist Orthodox politicians to limit religious affiliation. Netanyahu this month abandoned plans for localized lockdowns that would greatly affect religious communities under pressure from radical Orthodox mayors.
“I am not saying I have anything against religious people,” he said. I do not do that, ”said psychiatrist Liri Burak Schwitz, 44, during a protest rally on Tuesday. “But we find that most of Corona is in religious cities.
“Religious people did not want it to go ahead. They said, ‘Bibi, if you do this, we will not vote for you next time.’ “Then, a minute later, the whole country had to shut down. People are angry, people are angry. ”
In response, many profoundly religious Israelis believe they are being unjustly targeted, pointing out that ultra-Orthodox communities often live in poor and congested areas and that infections are spreading rapidly.
Israel Out of a population of 9 million, 234,000 infections and 1,516 deaths were reported. Health Minister Yuli Edelstein on Tuesday suggested that the measures be completely withdrawn after three weeks, as originally planned.
“Within 10 days we removed all restrictions and it was all over, there was no way to say everything was right,” he told Public Broadcaster Cannon.