Cabinet declares Bnei Brak a restricted area

Leaving the city will only be permitted for the purpose of obtaining essential medical treatment, legal procedures or funerals.

Ido Ben Porat ,

Coronavirus test
Coronavirus test
Yehonatan Veltzer/TPS

The Cabinet held a telephone meeting on Thursday evening in which it decided to declare the city of Bnei Brak a "restricted area" following the dramatic increase in the number of cases of coronavirus in the city.

Leaving Bnei Brak will only be possible for the purpose of obtaining vital medical treatment, legal proceedings, or to fulfill the role of police officer, soldier or medical personnel.

Residents will be allowed to leave for the purpose of attending a funeral, transferring a child to another parent, or other vital needs approved by authorities.

To assist the police in enforcement operations, the IDF sent two battalions from the 98th Paratroopers Division to Bnei Brak. About a thousand soldiers and police officers will be stationed in the city to enforce the restrictions.

Earlier on Thursday, Defense Minister Naftali Bennett and Interior Minister Aryeh Deri formulated a plan to offer additional protective measures for the elderly in Bnei Brak.

The ministers decided to transfer the city's elderly population (age 80 and above) to "coronavirus hotels" which are being rented out by the IDF Home Front Command and Defense Ministry. About 4,500 people will be transferred under the plan.

The plan is estimated to cost 75 million shekels, which will be transferred by the Finance Ministry to the Defense Ministry.

Adults from the ages of 60-80 will be required to remain in home isolation while residents of all ages will be required to adhere to Health Ministry guidelines and precautions such as wearing protective masks, washing hands, and social distancing.