Israel toughens its containment amid rising Covid-19 cases

From this Friday, outdoor prayers will be limited to 20 people.

AP Photo / Oded Balilty

Text by: RFI Follow

4 min

Faced with the increase in Covid-19 contaminations, the Israeli government decided this Thursday, September 24 to toughen the general confinement in force for nearly a week.


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After hours of discussions overnight, the unity government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday unveiled new measures to strengthen

the re-containment

in force for almost a week due to a continued increase in the number of people infected with the new coronavirus.

Israel is one of the countries with the highest rate of coronavirus contamination in recent weeks.

On Wednesday, the Ministry of Health identified 6,808 new cases.


We will still pay a heavy price in human lives.

We must fight together.

Only in this way will we overcome the epidemic.

And we will win.

So wake up.

Enough is enough.

We are in a new reality,

 ”said Benyamin Netanyahu.

Closure of synagogues

From 2 p.m. this Friday, synagogues will be closed, except for Yom Kippur (the Day of Forgiveness, celebrated Sunday evening and Monday).

Only the work sectors deemed "essential" will be able to continue to exercise.

Outdoor events and prayers will be limited to 20 people and less than one kilometer from home.

These measures were validated at first reading by Parliament this Thursday evening.

The finance ministry warned, however, that the measures were disastrous for the country's economy, as the unemployment rate has jumped in recent months.

Whoever thinks that we can work when a pandemic is raging, that deaths and infections increase, and that it may not affect the economy, that one is wrong,

 " replied the Prime Minister.

Opposition criticisms

His opponents accused him of tightening containment to weaken the weekly protests outside his residence in Jerusalem, which criticize in particular his handling of the pandemic.

The cause of this confinement is not the Covid-19 but the failed, negligent, hysterical and political management of the crisis by this government and the Prime Minister

 ", the opposition leader Yaïr Lapid accused Thursday evening.

The radical right-wing Yamina party, credited with second place in recent polls, said the new measures were " 

destructive and unreasonable



Because of the protests, (the authorities) are pushing hundreds of thousands of people into unemployment and destroying the economy,

 ” MP Ayelet Shaked said in a statement.

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