'IDF soldiers come to Bnei Brak with big hearts'

Defense Minister Bennett says haredi community not to blame for higher rates of coronavirus infection.

Shimon Cohen ,

Bennett in Bnei Brak
Bennett in Bnei Brak
no credit

Defense Minister Naftali Bennett spoke to Arutz Sheva about the fight against the coronavirus, the coordination between the Defense and Health Ministries, the

"We serve the Health Health Ministry, which is leading the campaign and every task that comes from the prime minister and the government. At this moment, thousands of Division 98 soldiers and the Home Front Command are in Bnei Brak, distributing food to the elderly and isolated.

"At call center 104, we receive 20,000 calls a day. We deliver food to 350,000 older people throughout Israel for Passover. We are technologically advanced in converting equipment placement and purchasing machines. The IDF and the defense establishment are all committed to beating the coronavirus."

Bennett reiterated his claim that in cases of disaster such as the coronavirus it is the Defense Ministry which should be put in charge of handling the crisis. "The Health Ministry is made up of excellent people. The Health Ministry is a regulator that passes regulation and policy to hospitals and HMOs. It is not an executive body. Both the law and practice are that in major emergencies the right body to deal with it is the Defense Ministry. This will be resolved if it goes to the Defense Ministry, but even if it does not, we will continue to help as much as we can."

"The prime minister is making the decisions and up to this moment he has preferred to leave it that way. It is of course in his prerogative, and as mentioned, even if it does not pass to us we work hard to help. It is our people and this is our country. The reason why the morbidity is a little above the world average, but the mortality rate is very low, is because the Israeli public understood very quickly the need to protect the elderly.

The defense minister refused to blame theharedi community for the higher rate of infection among their communities. "There is no reason to hurt or cast blame. What happened is that on Purim, when there were no clear instructions, there were large celebrations. The information arrived a few days later and therefore their morbidity rate is higher."

"IDF soldiers come to Bnei Brak with a huge heart only to help their brothers. The whole world of accusations is vanity. We will continue as best we can to get on well. No one is forced to leave his house. Rather we only offer options to the residents of Bnei Brak and later Elad and certain neighbors in Beit Shemesh, Rechasim and Ashkelon. We do not come to threaten but only to help.