Uprising at Israeli corona hotel as dozens attempt escape from quarantine

With the new quarantine policy descending into chaos, officials said they are reconsidering the regulations which could end as early as Friday.

By Josh Plank, World Israel News

A riot broke out at the Leonardo Hotel in Jerusalem on Monday as dozens of Israelis who had returned from abroad clashed with security guards while attempting to escape forced isolation, Channel 12 News reported.

The guards managed to push the crowd inside and close the door to the hotel, which has been serving as one of Israel’s designated coronavirus hotels for returning citizens since last week.

Yuval Peretz, who is in forced isolation at the hotel, gave Channel 12 an eyewitness account of the uprising.

“They closed the doors on us and threatened that if we do not go up to the rooms, we will receive tickets and they will arrest us,” Peretz said.

“We’ve been here since Saturday. They tricked us saying there would be an exceptions committee here, and then they left. In the end we were convinced, but of course after three days there’s no committee and no nothing. There are people from the outside here who have come to protest and support us,” Peretz said.

Channel 12 reported that isolators at the Grand Court Hotel in Jerusalem are also preparing to revolt, demanding that they be allowed to leave the hotel.

Large crowds of passengers have been reported waiting in line at the Ben Gurion Airport Exceptions Committee in an attempt to obtain an exemption from the forced isolation.

Army Radio reported Monday that of the 2,100 people who had landed at Ben Gurion Airport over the past day, only 600 went to the coronavirus hotels as current regulations require.

With the new quarantine policy descending into chaos, officials said they are reconsidering the regulations which could end as early as Friday.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Monday that he will not support extending the hotel isolation order and that returning Israelis should be allowed to quarantine at home on the condition they undergo a coronavirus test at the airport.

Chezy Levy, director of the Ministry of Health, told Kan News, “I’m not sure there’s a need for the quarantine hotels. We’re weighing whether to continue with this.”

Deputy Health Minister Yoav Kisch tweeted that since the vaccine appears to be effective against the new British coronavirus mutation, “It is correct to switch to home isolation and stop the isolation in hotels.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the coronavirus hotel order last week, saying, “I know that this is a difficult decision but we have no choice.”

If compliance is any indication, a growing number of Israelis appear to reject Netanyahu’s claim.