gravesite of the Baba Sali
gravesite of the Baba SaliSerge Attal / Flash 90

The organizers of the annual Hilula of the Baba Sali have reached an agreement with the fire department and the police which will allow the event to be held on schedule while complying with safety requirements.

The order prohibiting the celebration will remain in place and will be revoked after the budgets that meet the safety requirements, which total NIS 2.5 million, have been approved.

Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked transferred a budget of NIS 700,000 to the Netivot municipality to enable the safety arrangements for the Hilula.

Police announced that in any case no crowd would be allowed into the gravesite itself, but into the compound around it, and in accordance with the coronavirus restrictions published by the Health Ministry at the time of the event. "The police call on the general public to obey the instructions and act accordingly, in order to maintain public peace and safety."

Yesterday, police commander of the Negev region Lt. Gen. Nachshon Nagler ordered that this year the Hilula for the Baba Sali not take place in Netivot with the participation of the general public and that the general public not be allowed to enter the gravesite and the compound. The event is held every year on the anniversary of the Baba Sali's death.

The Baba Sali's son, Rabbi Baruch Abuhatzeira, responded that he did not accept the decision of the police, and the organizers of the Hilula announced that if they do not receive approval for the event, they will declare a "demonstration" to circumvent the order.