Netanyahu Announces Total Lockdown, Curfew On Night Of Pesach To Deter Family Visits

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a press conference about the coronavirus COVID-19, at the Prime Ministers office in Jerusalem on March 11, 2020 (Photo by Flash90)

JERUSALEM (VINnews) — Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced Monday night that despite optimistic indicators showing a slowdown in the spread of coronavirus in Israel, the holiday week is still a critical period which could be crucial for maintaining the positive momentum.

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Netanyahu said that the government has therefore decided to place a strict lockdown on Israel over the next few days. From 4PM Tuesday until 7AM Friday there will be no intercity travel in Israel and on the first night of Pesach there will be a total curfew around the country and nobody will be allowed to leave their house, in an apparent repeat of the biblical command to the Jews in Egypt “And you shall not leave your houses until the morning.” The government seeks to deter people visiting family and friends on the festival which could cause infection to spread.

Speaking on a televised address, Netanyahu urged Israelis to adhere to the restrictions, which he said would be enforced by police.

“When speaking about health and your lives, it is forbidden to take shortcuts,” Netanyahu said. “On Purim, the virus spread. I’m telling you now clearly, Passover will not be Purim. Every family will do Passover [the Seder] with their immediate family.”

Netanyahu also paid tribute to the medical professionals, IDF soldiers and police officers who were working to keep Israelis safe, calling them “angels in white and angels in uniform.”

Netanyahu revealed that if the optimistic indicators continued, restrictions would be eased and Israelis could start returning to normal activity “after the Mimouna”, the traditional festival which caps the end of Pesach in North African Jewish tradition.

The possible lifting of measures will be carried out according to levels of risk faced by different population groups.

The government-approved record 90 million NIS rescue package will enable small businesses and the unemployed to return to gainful economic activity and will help Israel to recover from the substantial economic losses of the past month. Netanyahu urged Israelis to purchase Israeli-made products in order to help the local industry recoup its losses.

Briefly turning to politics, Netanyahu said that despite the current stalemate with Blue & White, it was possible to reach an agreement on a unity government.

“I am convinced that we can reach a unity government,” he said. “The way is not yet blocked. There are obstacles, but I believe that with goodwill, we can get there.
“We can get there soon, and we must. Unity is needed not just at the political level, but also within Israeli society.”

The prime minister also condemned the incitement by some sectors of the public against the Chareidi community for ostensibly ignoring health guidelines and increasing the spread of coronavirus among the population.

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4 years ago

Look in Ball Haturim parshas Bo 12-8 it says that the Pesach Moshiach will come we wont be able to leave our houses…

4 years ago

The Shin Bet, and the Israeli police should enforce this national lock down vigorously.