Hundreds have occupied the streets of central Tel Aviv overnight to vent anger at a stringent second lockdown that will dramatically restrict people’s mobility, shut down most businesses and enforce social distancing rules.
Numbering hundreds, the anti-lockdown rally kicked off in Tel Aviv on Thursday – not long after the government rolled out a set of measures on a second Covid-19 shutdown. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted the move was necessary as hospitals “raised the red flag” after a drastic surge in fresh Covid-19 cases.
Many protesters were clearly upset by the prospect of living under another lockdown that will make them stick to a 500-meter radius around their homes, ban gatherings of more than 10 people inside, and effectively shutter schools, restaurants, shopping malls and other public places.
READ MORE: Netanyahu puts Israel into 3-week lockdown, citing rapid spread of Covid-19
“The shutdown is in order to turn us into submissive, suppressed sheep,” a protester named Dikla told RT’s Ruptly video agency. The quarantine measures are “to try to break us down,” she exclaimed.
The protesters displayed placards and banners denouncing the lockdown and insisting the coronavirus measures have been an over-reaction.
Others who joined the protest said the Israelis had “really had enough.” People are waking up to a situation in which everyone is “just going to be begging for some kind of vaccine,” said another protester. “But we’re aware of that right now, and we’re not going to be taking any vaccine,” she added.
Israel has reported over 175,200 cases and more than 1,160 deaths, with officials concerned that the mortality rate could surge as new infections have risen recently above 5,000 per day.
That aside, authorities fear that the coronavirus could spread on the heels of the Jewish High Holy Day period during which families and friends normally gather indoors. The new set of rules mandates that “going to prayers, even during the holidays, is subject to the 500-meter rule.”
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