Police indict 13 for communal prayer during lockdown

In most cases, those found breaching lockdown are only fined.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Public prayer outdoors
Public prayer outdoors
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Thirteen people were indicted on Wednesday for the crime of breaching lockdown regulations and participating in communal prayer.

The breaches allegedly occurred during the country’s first lockdown, just before or during the Pesach festival. All those indicted are residents of either Jerusalem or Beit Shemesh.

The haredi website Behadrey Haredim reports that the decision of the police to indict is exceptional, as in the overwhelming majority of cases of breach of lockdown regulations, only fines are issued and no charges are made.

Furthermore, in several of the indictments, police admit that the accused person was found on the street outside a synagogue rather than praying indoors.

One indictment, issued to a resident of the Ramat Polin neighborhood in Jerusalem (a haredi neighborhood), notes that the accused was found “outside a synagogue at around ten past eight in the morning, along with more than 10 other people, all praying together.” He was also charged of leaving the immediate vicinity of his place of residence for a non-authorized purpose.

Three other people from that particular prayer gathering were also indicted; the others were issued fines.

Another one of the indictments issued today refers to a prayer gathering in Beit Shemesh. One evening, at around eight o’clock, police raided a synagogue and found approximately 15 people gathered for the evening prayer service. Many of the participants were issued fines; others have now been indicted, with a comment on the indictments noting that they were “already known to police.”