IDF set to assist police in enforcing corona regulations

Soldiers assisting police officers will not have “legal authority” over civilians, IDF Spokesman Hedi Zilberman said.

By Aaron Sull, World Israel News.

As the coronavirus sweeps through Israel causing over 3,000 confirmed cases and 13 deaths, the IDF is preparing to help police patrol the streets in an effort to enforce the coronavirus restrictions.

“We are preparing to allocate 500 soldiers to assist in limiting the spread of COVID-19, as requested by Israeli police & approved by the government,” a Friday tweet by the IDF read.

“From Sunday, IDF troops will be assisting police teams with patrolling, isolating & securing areas in Israel,” the statement added.

If the need arises for further assistance, the IDF is prepared to supply more soldiers to help the police in their efforts, IDF Spokesman Hedi Zilberman told Kan News on Tuesday.

“The Army will free up eight battalions to assist the police and, if necessary, supply another 16 battalions in a second phase if and when the government decides,” Zilberman said.

However, soldiers assisting police officers will not have “legal authority” over civilians, he said.

A total of 1,296 citizens had been issued tickets by police for a lack of compliance with the rules. Violations of the law are subject to large fines and possible imprisonment.

Meanwhile, the government is scheduled to meet on Sunday to find ways to help the economy as many businesses have been forced to shut their doors due to the coronavirus.

Reportedly, one measure to be discussed may be an economic aid package of NIS 5 billion for small and medium-sized businesses.

Furthermore, the government is considering enforcing even tighter restrictions on the Israeli public until the deadly threat passes.

Measures being considered include restricting people to travel no farther than  2-to-3 kilometers from home to buy essential supplies, such as food and medicine.

Another would give the elderly a two-hour exclusive window to shop in grocery stores, and a third measure would be to further lessen the amount of staff allowed in the workplace. Currently, only 30 percent of employees are allowed to come into the office. That may be cut to 15 percent.