Israel police crack down on protests with a heavy hand

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The police violence spreads in protests in Israel. The demonstrations last Saturday in the streets of Tel-Aviv against Binyamín Netanyahu were repressed by the police forces and ended up with several protesters at the hospital. On Sunday, security forces fought hard against ultra-orthodox Jews who refuse to respect the lockdown and measures to prevent the spread of the pandemic. With 65,063 active cases of coronavirus and more than 1,700 deceased, the Israeli authorities seek to extend the closure until October 14th after passing legislation limiting demonstrations.

With one hand on the ‘shtreimel’ (the hat used by the ultra-Orthodox) to prevent the impact of the police from knocking him down, a Haredi Jew rebukes the forces of order shouting “Nazis! Nazis!“He is one of the hundreds of members of the ultra-Orthodox community who last Sunday gathered in a synagogue from Jerusalem without wearing masks or respect the safety distance. “Go back to Germany,” they shouted at the dozens of police officers who tried to disperse the prayer. Despite receiving fines, many refused to leave, so Sunday night ended with 13 detainees.

In Tel-Aviv, the movement Black flag concentrated for another week to demand the resignation of the Israeli prime minister for his poor management of the pandemic and his cases of corruption. At their fifteenth meeting, the protests were violently suppressed after the ban on demonstrating more than a kilometer from their homes and in groups of up to 20 participants. Thousands of people gathered in different parts of the country and 38 were arrested in the Israeli capital.

“The Netanyahu Government is turning the Police into a political tool“, has criticized the mayor of Tel-Aviv, Ron Huldai, who also suffered police violence in Saturday’s demonstrations. The prime minister announced that on Thursday the extension confinement. The figures for the last few days show a slight decrease in infections at the national level but from the Ministry of Health they remain cautious while the data in the ultra-Orthodox community does not stop increasing.

20,000 unemployed

Faced with one of the highest morbidity rates in the world, Israel decreed a second lockdown on September 18 in full month of jewish holidays. Many viewed the move as an attempt to repress movement against him, who has been in the streets for months and several clashes took place in the coalition government. In turn, the ultra-orthodox community he criticized the closure for limiting joint prayers during the holy month.

The images of thousands of Jaredis crammed into the funeral of an ultra-Orthodox rabbi demonstrate the inability of the Israeli police to control this social group, which accounts for 40% of those infected despite being 12% of the population. Experts fear that an overburdened healthcare system could end up undermining healthcare services provided to patients without coronavirus. Besides, the economic situation continues to get worse: in just four days, almost 20,000 jobless claims have been filed, bringing the total number to 936,712 unemployed.

Violence in the settlements

On the other hand, in illegal settlements in the West Bank there have also been moments of tension with the settlers. In the occupied territories with 7,286 active cases and 357 deaths with coronavirusSeveral synagogues in the Betar Illit neighborhood have continued to operate without permission. The police tried to disperse this Sunday the dozens of people concentrated in the temples but they refused and responded throwing stones at law enforcement. Two people were arrested for attacking the security forces and they imposed various fines.

Inside of the Government of IsraelThey don’t exactly lead by example. The Minister of Environmental Protection, Crazy Gamliel, has tested positive for coronavirus after bypassing restrictions and traveling to the Sea of ​​Galilee -a 150 kilometers from his home in Tel-Aviv– to pray in a synagogue on Yom Kippur. “I understand that in this period in which it is of great importance to maintain public trust in the instructions of the Government, it is possible that he committed an error of judgment and that there was room to act differently, “he acknowledged after retracting for having initially blamed his driver infecting you with the virus.



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