Blocking entrance to Har Gilo
Blocking entrance to Har GiloElimelech Dahan, Security Coordinator for Har Gilo, Gush Etzion

The IDF is preparing to receive for quarantine at the Midreshet Har Gilo facility 200 tourists from South Korea staying in Israel.

The absorption of 200 tourists at the site is supposed to be carried out by the IDF in coordination with the Health and Defense Ministries and the National Security Council.

Usually, the facility is used by the IDF for training courses and education days for soldiers, but during the quarantine there will be no groups of soldiers at the site.

However, locals in the community of Har Gilo, where the facility is located, intend to do everything possible to prevent the tourists from entering, and threaten to physically block their arrival.

According to a report in Channel 13, the community's Facebook group includes posts that read “We have to wake up and block both entrances to the community,” “Something like this cannot happen,” and “We must hold a demonstration and prevent entry.”

Backing the position of the residents, Gush Etzion Regional Council Head Shlomo Ne’eman responded saying: “Just by chance we discovered the intention of the IDF to create a medical isolation facility in the heart of a civilian community. This is completely unacceptable. Even if there is a need for the treatment of the virus, the decision can’t be made behind the backs of local officials. The Kiriyah in Tel Aviv is also a military facility, so why not set up a quarantine site there?”

“We demand that those in charge rescind this decision immediately and initiate dialogue with our local authorities as is protocol. We are not anyone’s ‘backyard’ and we will not be able to work within our communities if our local council doesn't have the authority to operate.”