(TJV News) Israel’s Health ministry cited a recent spike in COVID-19 cases in making the argument last week that a new national lockdown is warranted; however, government ministers concerned about the devastating impact on small businesses as well as freedom of worship clashed with factions pushing the new lockdown, Times of Israel reported.
The entire country has been declared a ‘hot zone’ and the lockdown took effect by Friday afternoon, just before the the start of Rosh Hashanah, the two day festive celebration marking the Jewish New Year.
It comes as new infections have risen 5,000 on some days, bringing the country to over 175,000 cases including 1,160 deaths.
The owners of a number of Tel Aviv bars have declared their businesses to be synagogues, in protest of government lockdown plans that on the one hand will prevent all bars and restaurants from operating during the closure, while on the other allow dozens to take part in prayers at houses of worship throughout the country.
Hundreds of Israelis protested in Tel Aviv late Thursday against a second nationwide lockdown to combat Israel’s surging coronavirus outbreak.
— Yeni Şafak English (@yenisafakEN) September 18, 2020
“The economy is in free-fall, people are losing their jobs, they’re depressed,” said Yael, one of between 300 and 400 demonstrators at Habima Square, according to Times of Israel.
And a recently laid off protester told The Times of Israel: “And all this for what? For nothing!” “The shutdown is in order to turn us into submissive, suppressed sheep,” one protester told Russia’s RT. She argued that ultimately the new measures are “to try to break us down.”
“We’ve been broken.”
Restaurateurs in Tel Aviv smashed plates on Tuesday to protest a second nationwide coronavirus lockdown pic.twitter.com/SaoubMD9QN
— Bloomberg QuickTake (@QuickTake) September 15, 2020