Tightened corona lockdown in Israel: Bibi is aiming for an emergency

The government has extended the lockdown. She has not yet been able to restrict the right to demonstrate – the anti-Netanyahu protests continue.

Lockdown patrol at the Tel Aviv booth. And all because Bibi wants to be quiet Photo: dpa

TEL AVIV taz | Actually it should be quiet this Saturday evening in front of the residence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The tightened lockdown regulations, which came into force on Friday noon, were initially intended.

Instead of the tens of thousands who have been calling for the prime minister’s resignation for months in front of Netanyahu’s official residence, given his corruption process and his failure in the corona crisis, only a maximum of 2000 people could have demonstrated – in capsules of 20 people each. In addition, it would have been forbidden to drive more than a kilometer to reach a demonstration.

But in the end it should be loud this Saturday evening too. Because to limit protests significantly, a change in the law is required, which the government could no longer bring through the Knesset on Friday. The declaration of an emergency, which Netanyahu and Minister of Health Yuli Edelstein aimed at on Friday noon, also failed for the time being. A state of emergency would ban all gatherings, including the anti-Netanyahu protests, until the Knesset can pass a law change next week.

There is massive criticism not only of the attempt to declare a state of emergency, but also of the tightening of the lockdown. Numerous Netanyahu opponents believe that the tougher regulations are primarily based on political intentions: to limit public expressions of displeasure against the Prime Minister or to prevent them entirely.

“All citizens of Israel know,” said an anti-Netanyahu protest group’s statement, “that the real and only reason Netanyahu is pushing so hard for a lockdown that restricts prayers on Yom Kippur and the self-employed and businesses at large Desperate country that are demonstrations in Balfour, which shows its failure and the failure of the government in dealing with the crisis. “

“I have to take anti-emetics”

This assumption can be heard not only on the street and from the opposition, but also from experts in the health care sector and not least from Ronni Gamzu, who was only appointed Corona officer by Netanyahu at the end of July. “It’s disgusting, I have to take anti-emetics,” Gamzu is said to have said, according to Israeli TV station Channel 13.

According to the broadcaster, Gamzu also said that the debate about stricter regulations only began when legal experts informed Netanyahu that it was impossible to prevent protests against him while large parts of the country remained open. This is how the U-turn came about, with which Netanyahu suddenly argued for a complete lockdown.

Gamzu not only criticized Netanyahu’s motivation, but also the new regulations themselves. On Thursday morning, he said that although he had recommended a partial tightening of the previous lockdown, “but not to shut down the entire country.”

The new regulations came into force on Friday at 2 p.m. Almost all shops had to be closed, public transport drastically cut back, outgoing flights canceled. There are strict instructions to stay close to where you live.

The number of new corona infections in Israel reached a new record of 8,178 on Friday, which would mean well over 70,000 new infections per day in Germany.

The various groups calling for the anti-Netanyahu protests are meanwhile at odds over how to conduct the demonstrations during the extended lockdown and in the face of the rapid rise in corona infections. Some called for car convoys or for small numbers to demonstrate near their own homes – “so as not to make excuses for the failing Netanyahu government.”

Others announced that they would move in front of the prime minister’s residence on Saturday evening. These in turn are divided into those who want to demonstrate “in accordance with the guidelines of the Ministry of Health and while maintaining social distance” and those who do not care about any rules of distance because they are simply fed up with Netanyahu’s politics.

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