Israel law restricts right to protest due to pandemic

In Jerusalem, demonstration against the restriction of the right to demonstrate, September 29, 2020. REUTERS / Ronen Zvulun

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After several days of negotiations and debate, the Israeli Parliament adopted a text tonight imposing severe restrictions on the right to demonstrate due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The text, adopted after anti-Netanyahu demonstrations have been organized every week for more than three months, has been denounced as an attack on fundamental democratic rights by the opposition.


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From our correspondent in Jerusalem


Guilhem Delteil

Since the start of the pandemic, the right to demonstrate had remained an untouchable democratic principle in Israel: it had suffered no restrictions, even during periods of confinement.

But from now on, the government will be able to limit the exercise of this right.

Declaring a "

 state of emergency linked to the coronavirus 

" will prohibit going to a demonstration more than a kilometer from home. 

The legislation has been the subject of intense negotiations between the coalition parties.

The centrist Bleu-Blanc formation demanded to limit these restrictions to the period of confinement while the Likud of Benyamin Netanyahu wanted to maintain them even when economic activity resumes.


 We are protecting the balance between the fight for public health and civil rights 

", assured the Minister of Justice.

But this legislation will drastically restrict

anti-Netanyahu protests held every Saturday night

for more than three months.

And the opposition sees in it a desire to prevent contestation.

Its leader in Parliament, Yair Lapid, believes that the next step will be to prevent him from speaking in full.

 They will say it's because of the coronavirus, 

” he said.

 We have become a dictatorship 

”, for his part, judged an elected official from the ultra-nationalist Israel Beitenou party.


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  • Israel

  • Coronavirus

  • Benjamin Netanyahu