Police set up blockades at all of the entrances and exits to Bnei Brak on Tuesday and any driver who was not a resident and not fulfilling a necessary errand was refused entry. Drivers were instructed to turn around and go back home. Police were also checking ID numbers of drivers in order to determine whether or not they needed to be in isolation.
Police stated that the majority of residents in the city are now complying with the regulations set forth by Health Ministry and the number of fines that have been issued in the city today are lower than the number of fines issued in other Chareidi communities.
Bnei Brak Mayor Avraham Rubinstein issued a statement from his own home isolation and commented for the first time on the proposal to initiate a complete closure of the city. “We cannot build a new prison here. Reality will not allow it. The residents will not stand for it and the proposal will only create the opposite reaction of the one that the Health Ministry desires. We cannot make Bnei Brak a Ghetto, the closure will not stop the virus.”
The Health Ministry released a report on Tuesday morning which stated that in the city alone there are 571 confirmed cases of the virus, accounting for 10 percent of the total confirmed cases in Israel.
Police were active in the city throughout the day dispersing minyanim, and preventing gatherings. They issued tickets and fines to people who violated the directives of the Health Ministry.
More than a dozen people were fined for gathering together in a Bais Medrash on Rabbi Akiva Street. In another location, police identified an apartment that had been converted into a Shul. Police detained the owner of the apartment who attempted to flee.
Police issued 60 fine in Bnei Brak over the course of the day. In other Chareidi communities, the numbers were higher. In Meah Shearim police issued 102 fines and in Beit Shemesh they issued 70. The total amount of fines issued by the police over between these three communities was 650,000 NIS.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)