Protests in Israel as 2nd Lock Down Goes into Effect


During the lockdown, set to last at least three weeks, Israelis will be limited to within a radius of one kilometre (mile) for leisure, with trips beyond that limited to shopping for supplies, seeking medical treatment or working in jobs considered essential.

Jewish worshippers pray the morning pray in a synagogue which is fitted with plastic sheets for protection before Israel will enter a second nationwide lockdown amid a resurgence in new coronavirus disease cases, forcing residents to stay mostly at home during the Jewish high-holiday season, in Jerusalem September 18, 2020.

The owners of a number of Tel Aviv bars have declared their businesses to be synagogues, in protest of government lockdown plans that on the one hand will prevent all bars and restaurants from operating during the closure, while on the other allow dozens to take part in prayers at houses of worship throughout the country.

The Jewish state has the world's second-highest detected virus infection rate after Bahrain, according to an AFP tally over the past fortnight, recording 187,396 cases and 1,236 deaths.

The demonstrations restarted hours after the end of the Jewish new year holiday, Rosh Hashana.

The three-week lockdown , which began in the early afternoon, will require many businesses' closure and imposes strict limits on movement and public gatherings.

Under the new restrictions, nearly all businesses open to the public will have to close.

The first lockdown was imposed across Israel in late March and eased in May as new cases tapered off, reaching single-digit lows. In recent months authorities have announced various restrictions only to see them ignored or reversed even as new cases soared to record levels.

Many Israelis have protested against the government's handling of the coronavirus crisis.

The new rules were approved overnight by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet. Netanyahu, who is also on trial for corruption, has been the target of weekly protests outside his official residence.



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