PM Staff Members Caught Breaking Quarantine

YERUSHALAYIM -

Two members of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu‏‏’s staff were reportedly caught breaking the quarantine imposed on them after returning from the peace accords signing in Washington last week.

Netanyahu’s media adviser Topaz Luk was noticed filming an anti-Netanyahu demonstration, and foreign policy adviser and deputy head of the National Security Council, Reuven Azar, was seen at a supermarket in Mevaseret Tzion, a suburb of the capital.

The Movement for Quality Government called for Netanyahu’s aides to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

“When people from Netanyahu’s office violate quarantine, and when to begin with they’re given preferred treatment that has no basis, when the prime minister ignores it and calls the protesters ‘disease-spreaders’ – we are in a deep leadership crisis,” the movement said in a statement.

They referred to the leniency granted to the Israeli delegation of a 5-day, as opposed to the standard 14-day, isolation period for people returning from the U.S. There were also reports that Netanyahu himself and his entourage violated the mask and distancing rules while in Washington.

Netanyahu responded to the demands for punishment with some indignation. “Now, suddenly, everyone wakes up in the case of one man,” he said during a cabinet meeting, according to Channel 12 news.

“Everyone who breaks quarantine should pay a fine, but there mustn’t be selective enforcement. Jews, Arabs, left, right — I think everyone should follow the Health Ministry instructions and they should be kept and enforced equally,” he reportedly said.

Luk said he will pay the fine for violating his quarantine order.

Channel 12 quoted Luk as telling “close associates”: “The instructions I received changed several times, but I should have been more careful. I am sorry that I have become a tool for attacks on the prime minister, and in any case I will pay the fine on my own initiative.”

Azar was reprimanded by his superiors so that such incidents are not repeated, the PMO said in a statement.