Yisrael Beytenu MK Defiant on Lockdown Violations

An Israeli police officer talks to a young man at a lockdown checkpoint. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israeli officials who have been caught in breach of coronavirus regulations—from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu‏‏ and President Reuven Rivlin to Environmental Minister MK Gila Gamliel—have publicly apologized and in some cases paid fines.

But Yisrael Beytenu MK Yulia Malinovsky is different. She admits she broke the rules, and makes no apologies.

“I have small children, their friends come over. What do you think, that they don’t meet up? That everyone is sitting in a prison? I don’t need to sit in a prison because of the stupidity of others,” Malinovsky told a meeting of the Knesset’s Coronavirus Committee on Monday.

Earlier in the day, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit cleared Gamliel (Likud) of allegedly lying to the Health Ministry about her coronavirus status following her infection and violation of quarantine and lockdown rules.

Gamliel admitted then to violating the 1-kilometer travel restriction in order to visit with family in Teverya on Yom Kippur, 90 miles from her home in Tel Aviv. But she denied lying about it and said she would pay the 5,000-shekel fine.

Mandelblit concluded that there was no evidence that she had lied about her status, and noted her confession and expression of regret about her actions.

Subsequently, it was reported that the basis for accusations she had lied was due to a flaw in the tracking system.

When Gamliel informed contact tracers she was in Tiverya, the Health Ministry’s computer system only listed Tel Aviv, due to a glitch that automatically changes the location of where a person was infected to their place of residence, according to Channel 13 on Monday night.

Now the Ministry is investigating whether the glitch affected other cases.

Demands for her resignation or firing are expected to die down, and she will keep her job as Environmental Minister.

Updated Monday, October 19, 2020 at 3:02 pm .