Jerusalem lockdown extended, Bnei Brak lifted

Public transportation will remain banned in Bnei Brak.

By Aaron Sull, World Israel News

The Knesset Ministerial Committee decided on Thursday to extend lockdown on select Jerusalem neighborhoods until April 19 and to almost completely lift Bnei Brak’s lockdown, reports Channel 12 news.

While in lockdown all residents are forbidden from leaving the confines of their neighborhoods, and outsiders are not allowed to enter. Exceptions to the rules are made for essential workers and those seeking medical care or fulfilling specific familial obligations.

Seventeen predominantly ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem neighborhoods that were hit hard by the coronavirus were locked down on Sunday for three days.

Bnei Brak, an ultra-Orthodox town of nearly 200,000 bordering Tel Aviv, was put on lockdown on April 2 after the Ministry of Health released statistics showing that one out of three of residents was infected with the coronavirus.

The city was placed under de facto IDF control to help local authorities enforce the lockdown.

Leaders of the community blamed the government for the situation, saying residents were simply not aware of the seriousness of the pandemic. Most don’t own televisions or computers and said the authorities were slow to get the word out in a way that that would reach them.

Meanwhile, the Bnei Brak Municipality has pledged to evacuate 700 patients to nearby “corona hotels” in an attempt to prevent the further spread of the deadly virus.

The Ministry of Health announced on Thursday that 12,591 Israelis are infected with coronavirus and 141 have died as a result.