JERUSALEM (VINnews) — During the first, second and third waves of the coronavirus pandemic Israeli police distributed numerous fines in the chareidi sector over lack of adherence to government regulations. Policemen went around chareidi neighborhoods and targeted people praying in synagogues or not wearing masks in what appeared to be selective enforcement, since at the same time secular people were not being fined for similar infringements.
A group of chareidim who had received fines decided to appeal to the court and claim selective enforcement. Police responded by submitting indictments against the appelants for “holding prayers in violation of coronavirus regulations” as well as refusing to leave a synagogue in Beit Shemesh where prayers were taking place in violation of regulations.
The attorneys for the group claimed that police had used selective enforcement when it focused on chareidi areas as opposed to other sectors. The police apparently were concerned that the claims of the appellants would be upheld in court creating a precedent and therefore immediately decided to withdraw the indictments and to cancel the fines.
Israeli police said in response that “as part of the national struggle against the spread of coronavirus, Israeli police is performing professional enforcement around the country. After renewed investigation of the circumstances in which these fines were given, it was decided to cancel them.”