Knesset Votes to Extend Lockdown Without Raising Fines

YERUSHALAYIM -
The closed down Azrieli Shopping Mall in the central Israeli city of Modi’in, during the current nationwide lockdown. (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)

The Knesset voted on Wednesday to approve lockdown rules over objections from the Blue and White party, which is seeking to raise the fines on violators.

MKs voted 34 to 7 to implement the rules, even though Blue and White said it won’t allow the cabinet to meet on Thursday to extend the lockdown until a separate measure is adopted for stiffer penalties.

The Knesset plenum today approved extending lockdown regulations until Sunday at midnight.

“There will be no cabinet meeting on extending the lockdown if there is no equal enforcement for all,” the party said according to The Times of Israel. “Either everyone heeds the lockdown — or there will be no fake lockdown.”

Blue and White wants the fines to be doubled, from 5,000 shekels to 10,000, aiming it at the chareidi institutions which it claims have been open in spite of the official closure. Likud, Shas and United Torah Judaism are opposed to the hike.