Tougher Enforcement Planned for Third Lockdown

YERUSHALAYIM -
A closed restaurant in Tel Aviv during the pandemic. (Flash90)

After Health Minister Yuli Edelstein complained bitterly that the current coronavirus restrictions were not being obeyed, comparing the spotty compliance to “swiss cheese,” Israeli police are intending to get tougher when the third full lockdown begins overnight Thursday.

The head of the Police’s Operations Department, Deputy Chief Yishai Shalem, said that about 5,000 officers would be added to the regular forces to keep the lockdown tight.

“There will be fewer daytime checkpoints in the central area than in the north and south,” Shalem told Kan News. “On the other hand, from 7 PM to 11 PM there will be more checkpoints. In this lockdown we will be operating with a much heavier hand and we will enforce more than before. We will deploy forces within the cities in large numbers.”

“The purpose of the action is to address unreasonable gatherings. Every effort will be made not to have physical confrontations, but bullying will receive a response.

Between 11 PM and 7 AM, 12 checkpoints will be set up on interurban roads. Between 7 AM and 7 PM, 15 checkpoints will be operated, mainly in the north and south. And from 7 PM to 11 PM, 25 checkpoints will be set up – also in the center of the country.

Meanwhile, Acting Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai ordered the suspension of the officers who stood by and allowed a large wedding in Beitar Illit, pending an investigation.