Mount Herzl Military Cemetery in Jerusalem (archive)
Mount Herzl Military Cemetery in Jerusalem (archive)Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

The High Court of Justice on Monday afternoon rejected a petition by bereaved families against the emergency regulations banning them from visiting military cemeteries on Israel's Memorial Day.

In the ruling, Judge Yitzhak Amit noted that it is impossible to avoid a situation in which many people gather in one location and cause a mass infection of the coronavirus if the families are allowed to visit the cemeteries.

The judge added that in the hearing, proposals such as restricting entry to the cemeteries to members of the nuclear family or one representative from each family were raised, However, "it is difficult to see how the prohibition side can be enforced while maintaining respect for the place and the feelings of the family members."

"Who is the police officer or soldier with a stone heart, who will stand at the entrance to the cemetery on this day and screen the incoming with a painful and poignant question: Who are you and what is your relative in the space in this cemetery? Not to mention the examination and verification of the answer he will receive," he added.

Toward the end, Judge Amit emphasized, "The arrangement stipulated in the Temporary Order was formulated with the consultation of professionals in the Family Division, Commemoration and Heritage in the Ministry of Defense with the Public Soldier Commemoration Council(whose members are bereaved families), and the organization of the families victims of hostilities did not express reservations about the arrangement."

He said: "This consultation is important and supports the conclusion that the established arrangement is proportionate and reasonably balanced between the painful violation of the rights of bereaved families and their emotions, and the need to protect their health and public health."