Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu[Photo: VOA News]
September 9th 2020– Israel’s government has announced that overnight curfews will be imposed in 40 ‘red’ cities and towns, with the highest Covid-19 infection rates, after the country’s death toll from the virus passed 1,000.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said the decision was “well considered, responsible and committed to reality”.
Religious parties in Netanyahu’s governing coalition opposed such a move, which will affect four predominantly ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities.
Interior Minister Arye Dery, leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, said on Sunday that synagogues will remain open during the Jewish high holidays even if the government imposes a lockdown.
During a meeting with Netanyahu, Dery also demanded for a complete lockdown for the entire country instead of the targeted closure of ‘red’ cities and towns.
Around 50 people have been protesting since the announcement, in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, identified as one of the ‘red’ cities with high Covid-19 infection rate, against the government’s proposed restrictions on the city.
Israel has experienced a resurgence of Covid-19 since the government began easing restrictions in May.
Last week, the country reported the highest rate of new infections per capita in the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins University in the US.