Gila Gamliel apologizes for COVID violation: 'I'll pay the fine'

Environmental Protection Minister violated closure, prayed on Yom Kippur in synagogue in Tiberias and became COVID infected.

Ido ben Porat ,

Gila Gamliel
Gila Gamliel

Environmental Protection Minister Gila Gamliel (Likud) today apologized for violating closure and traveling to Tiberias on Yom Kippur, where she prayed in a synagogue and there contracted coronavirus.

"I erred in my judgment and there was room to act differently. I apologize to the public, and declare that I will pay the required fine," Gamliel told Haaretz, which exposed the violation.

The Minister's office said that "before the closure, the Minister and her husband made a family decision to be in Tiberias. This is what they do throughout the year and on holidays. The stay in the apartment was in accordance with the guidelines." According to Gamliel, she prayed according to the outline published by the government and she did wear a face mask.

Gamliel, who lives in north Tel Aviv, stayed with her husband's parents in Tiberias on Yom Kippur, contrary to guidelines, and prayed at the Etz Chaim synagogue in Shikun D.

After it became clear that she tested coronavirus positive, Gamliel attempted to hide from the Health Ministry the fact that she prayed 150 km from her home. Yesterday it was reported in Haaretz that the Minister avoided Health Ministry queries for hours and tried to mislead them.

Coronavirus coordinator Prof. Ronni Gamzu also referred today to Minister Gamliel's case, saying that "this is unusual behavior, especially on the part of a public figure who should set a personal example. This conduct undermines public trust and requires law enforcement investigation and appropriate action."