Approximately 2,500 activists are taking part in anti-government protests across from the Prime Minister's residence in Jerusalem despite the latest nationwide coronavirus lockdown imposed last Friday. Police have placed barricades in the area to divide protesters into smaller groups according to Ministry of Health directives. The rally, itself, however, has yet to be sanctioned by the police department and demonstrators have removed the barriers, ignoring police directives.
Roads leading to the location of the protest including: Ben Maimon, Azza, Kikkar Paris, Agron, King George, and Keren Hayesod have been shut down to traffic.
At least one protester has already been arrested for using a megaphone to provide instructions for avoiding health directives.
Yesterday (Saturday), Minister of the Interior Amir Ohana (Likud) strongly condemned the protests, including a meal for activists held across from the Prime Minister's residence on Friday prior to the arrival of the Rosh Hashannah holiday.
"This privileged group of spoiled brats is certain it's above the rule of law and is spitting all of us in the face," he stated.
"I spoke with the police commissioner and commander of the Jerusalem district, and they promised to ensure the [protests] come to an end. These are not demonstrations. They're putting people's lives at risk. This could be a fatal blow to the fight against the spread of the virus. Not only will it make the crisis worse, but law-abiding citizens will see this and ask themselves why the protesters are allowed to do this and they're not," he added.
Earlier in the day, Brigadier General (Ret.) Amir Haskel, one of the leaders of the anti-government movement, called for activists to attend demonstrations despite lockdown directives: "I remind you that even during a general shutdown, you are allowed to demonstrate. This is a test of our willpower to continue this struggle," he insisted.
Today it was reported that an additional 3,406 Israelis contracted COVID-19.
30 more individuals succumbed to the virus yesterday. On Friday, 27 Israelis died of CV-19-related complications. Three more were added to that number today in the morning. The total number of virus victims over the holiday weekend came out to 60.
The death toll in the country now stands at 1,229. 631 Israelis are in serious condition, with 168 of them on ventilators in critical condition.