Israel is confined again. With a contagion rate higher than 3,000 cases of coronavirus daily, the Israeli authorities have decided to decree the total closure of the country from this Friday, September 18, becoming the first country in the world to reconfine itself. The decision has led to resignation of the Minister of Housing, the ultra-orthodox Yaakov Litzman, for coinciding with various Jewish holidays. The Jewish state, with a population of 9 million, has surpassed the number of 150,000 cases of covid-19 and 1,103 deaths.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is currently in Washington for the signing of the standardization agreement with Bahrain, mediated by US President Donald Trump. From Israel, it has rained critics about the president by travel with your family while his country prepares to impose total restrictions to tackle the critical health situation.
Does six months, on March 12, Israel decreed the closure of schools and universities in the country with 109 confirmed cases of coronavirus and no death. Netanyahu’s government stood as model case with some of the most drastic measures in the world: closure of bars, restaurants, non-essential shops, and even rapid closure of the borders even with few confirmed cases. But, according to experts, the politicization of the crisis, overconfidence, lack of credibility of the authorities and the little social discipline they could be the causes of the sanitary disaster that looms over the country.
During these months, the ravages of the coronavirus have concentrated in certain sectors of Israeli society, to the point of applying a night curfew –Between seven in the afternoon and five in the morning– in a quarantine of towns with high rates of infections last week. Most of these were majority municipalities Arab and settlements with an ultra-Orthodox Jewish population.
The dates of this new confinement coincide with the celebration of the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) until Sukkot, passing through Yom Kippur, the main jewish autumn holidays. For this reason, the leader of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish party in Netanyahu’s conservative coalition has criticized the closure. “This hurts and despises hundreds of thousands of citizens”, Dokp in his letter of resignation the Minister of Housing. “We have to move on, take the necessary decisions for Israel in the era of the coronavirus & rdquor ;, the prime minister replied.
In the midst of a health emergency, the Israeli president also faces a climate of widespread social distrust. During the last four monthsHundreds of Israelis have demonstrated every weekend in different cities of the country. The citizen movement calls for Netanyahu resignation for his disastrous management of the pandemic and the corruption scandals for which he is prosecuted.
This new confinement, according to which you can only get out 500 meters from home, could make the thrust of these protests lose steam in which young and old of different profiles tend to participate. Three weeks ago, Bibi managed to save his government again with an agreement in extremis to extend the negotiation of the budgets and prevent the country from going to the fourth elections in a year and a half.