Three people were arrested and fined as clashes erupted in Jerusalem’s ultra-Orthodox Mea Shearim neighborhood on Sunday amid an effort by police to enforce the government’s regulations to curb the spread of the novel Coronavirus (Covid-19).
The police crackdown came after reports emerged that several businesses and large numbers of residents were not abiding by the Ministry of Health’s rules on limiting physical interaction. With schools refusing to close, large weddings and gatherings taking place, and many shops open as usual, Mea Shearim was feared to become a hotspot for the further spread of the virus.
Crowds clashed with police, throwing stones and denouncing officers as Nazis. Individual policemen wore protective masks, while the vast majority of officers and rioters were unprotected.
The three people arrested were charged with violently disrupting a demonstration and disturbing the public order. They were additionally fined NIS 5,000 ($1,380) for disobeying the government’s Corona regulations, local media reported.
Health Minister Yaakov Litzman, himself Haredi, had called upon the ultra-Orthodox communities to follow the government’s regulations to help stop the spread of the virus.
The number of Corona patients in Israel rose to 1,238 on Monday morning, of which 24 are in serious condition and 34 are in moderate condition. Some are being treated with experimental medications.
Some 40 patients have recovered while about 75,000 Israelis are in a 14-day quarantine.
The government has been working to significantly boost the number of Corona tests carried out on a daily basis, and some 5,300 Israelis were tested in the past 24 hours.
The novel Coronavirus COVID-19 is affecting 192 countries around the world.
At least 353,000 cases of Coronavirus have been confirmed worldwide, including at least 15,300 deaths. Some 100,000 have recovered.