capsules at Western Wall
capsules at Western WallWestern Wall Heritage Foundation

The Coronavirus Cabinet convened tonight (Monday) over ZOOM to approve the outline for opening the school year and expanding the green pass outline.

Housing and Construction Minister Zeev Elkin (New Hope) voted against the outline for restricting prayers at the Western Wall, after his proposal to restrict the mass prayers of Muslims on the Temple Mount was not accepted. Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked also voted against the restrictions at the Western Wall for the same reason.

"I now voted in the Coronavirus Cabinet together with Minister Ayelet Shaked against restrictions on prayers at the Western Wall because the decision discriminated the Western Wall from the Temple Mount," Elkin said.

''In previous waves, both places were excluded from the regulations and received special treatment. It makes no sense to implement coronavirus restrictions at the Western Wall and not to address in parallel what is happening on the Temple Mount," Minister Elkin added.

Public Security Minister Amar Bar-Lev warned that the annual gathering at Uman, Ukraine is extremely dangerous. "A ticking bomb is being ignored - Uman. 100,000 people. There is overcrowding there. This is a mega event."

Deputy Defense Minister Moshe Edri told the ministers: "A consultation call is being held with the ambassador to conduct inspections and negotiations with a company that will set up an inspection post there."

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said: "I spoke with the Foreign Minister of Ukraine. They are frustrated by last year's events but they will help. They promised to help us and there will be a set of tests as we want and think are necessary."

Bar-Lev remarked that ''15 thousand people are already there. If anyone thinks that people will return sick from Uman and the solution is enforcement, he is wrong - no one should have any illusions."

Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked said that "if a restrictive outline is made on the Western Wall, I also want an outline for the prayers on the Temple Mount." Bar-Lev replied: "There will be a discussion about exactly that tomorrow."

Regarding the outline of the prayers at the Western Wall, Lapid said, "I recommend involving the Rabbi of the Western Wall so that it does not show that we are coming to tell the haredim how to live, but that they will understand that we care about their health. There is no one type of gathering - there is no wedding law for the Gesher Theater."

Social Equality Minister Meirav Cohen: "I think the decision to resolve isolation is dangerous - the next wave will come from Ben Gurion Airport, and we should not encourage non-essential travel. Remember how this strain came about - the next virus like its predecessor will also come from Ben Gurion Airport. Regarding vaccines in the Arab sector, there is no ideological problem but a problem of awareness that can be solved with a small budget."

Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz attacked the Finance Ministry over the issue of restrictions on gatherings. Horowitz said that "things of lesser importance like a huge appearance threaten the opening of the school year."