Corona spike in Druze, Arab towns forces lockdown

Authorities warn that wedding season in Israel’s Arab communities could spawn massive coronavirus outbreaks.

By World Israel News Staff

The Israeli ministerial committee in charge of declaring coronavirus “red zones” is ringing the alarm over Majdal Shams, a Druze town in northern Israel.

The committee recommended that corona czar Prof. Roni Gamzo declare a one-week lockdown for the community, ending Saturday at 6:00 PM.

Currently in Israel, out of the 12 municipalities at risk of being declared red zones, 11 of them are Arab communities, Channel 12 reported.

Majdal Shams has already received the dreaded designation.

Large weddings in Arab towns, in violation of current regulations, are a major risk factor spreading coronavirus. While morbidity rates have dropped in Arab communities, infection rates are on the rise again.

Deir al-Assad was one of the communities discussed in the Channel 12 report. It has suffered from high morbidity in both waves of coronavirus, but business owners and residents dread another economically crippling lockdown.

“The situation isn’t good,” said Deir al-Assad resident Nassim Naama, Channel 12 reported. “No parties, no restaurants. Everything is closed in the evening.”

The village of Puridis has also been declared a red zone.

Closures are particularly damaging to places like Majdal Shams and Puridis, which rely on tourists patronizing local restaurants to fuel their economies.

“There’s no work,” said a Puridis restaurant owner named Ahmed quoted by Channel 12, “not at weddings and not in the Jewish towns and kibbutzim next to us.”