“The corona epidemic does not distinguish between the ultra-Orthodox and the secular or between Arabs and Jews; neither will we,” said the prime minister in a statement on Sunday.
By World Israel News Staff
With over 8,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 48 deaths, Israel continues to intensify efforts to thwart the spread of the COVID-19, which has disproportionately affected haredi communities such as Bnei Brak.
Addressing backlash against the ultra-Orthodox sector as the virus continues to spread, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued comments on Sunday evening “strongly condemn[ing] the wild incitement against the ultra-Orthodox public.”
To contain contagion, the Israeli military began an operation in Bnei Brak, helping to distribute food and medicine in the city, which the state has declared a “restricted zone.” The government last week put Bnei Brak, home to a large population of ultra-Orthodox religious Jews, under a near closure as the outbreak ravaged the city.
The government is reportedly mulling taking the same precautions in other ultra-Orthodox communities.
On Sunday, Netanyahu commented, “The corona epidemic does not distinguish between the ultra-Orthodox and the secular or between Arabs and Jews; neither will we. This war is all of ours; together we will win it. I stand by you.”
The prime minister added that he believed the haredi community “has internalized the danger and the instructions from the Ministry of Health.”
Last week, it was announced that Health Minister Yaakov Litzman and his wife, members of the ultra-Orthodox community, contracted the coronavirus, sending the Liztmans and the ministry’s director general, Moshe Bar Siman Tov, into quarantine.
The coronavirus causes mild to moderate symptoms in most patients, who recover within a few weeks. But it is highly contagious and can be spread by people showing no symptoms. It can cause serious illness and death in some patients, particularly the elderly and those with underlying health issues.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.