Beitar Illit Mayor Takes On Health Ministry Following Threat To Lock Down The City


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Professor Itamar Grotto, the Associate Director-General of the Israeli Ministry of Health told the mayor of Beitar Illit that officials are mulling imposing a lockdown on the city due to the high infection rate of COVID cases in the city.

Mayor Meir Rubenstein responded to the threatened lockdown and sent a letter Health Minister Yuli Edelstein expressing his firm objection to the move.

“For the past few weeks, I have been running after members of your staff to enlist their help in evacuating the sick people from Beitar Illit to the Corona hotels. However, all of my efforts have been in vain. The Health Ministry has decided to hand over the management of the evacuation of Covid-19 patients to the HMOs, something that has become the greatest stumbling block in the handling of the second wave of the virus.

Additionally, the Ministry isn’t assisting the local authorities. You imposed strict regulations on the city a number of weeks ago that included the closing of the educational facilities in the city, and completely disregarded the objections of the city council to this move. Tot his day, no directive has been published by the Director of the Health Ministry regarding the regulation, it doesn’t even appear on the Ministry’s website. Our continued queries to the ministry and its officials have gone unanswered.

No Professor Grotto is threatening to put a lockdown on the city. I want to ask you Mr. Minister, what good would that due, except to create an incubator for the virus. You are not aiding us in evacuating the ill from the city, and the moment that you lock the gates of the city, the virus will simply spread farther and faster throughout the population within. Where is the logic in this? The decision unmasks a terrible failure in the handling of the second wave.

During the first wave, we worked together with the Home Front Command and succeeded at lowering the infection rate without any lockdown required. However, during this second wave, we are witnessing a sense of powerlessness, the likes of which I have never seen before in my life.

I ask that you work to cease this proposed lockdown that will not do any good and will only serve to make the virus more rampant in our city.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. China was successful in avoiding a feared “second wave” by quickly locking down neighborhoods where the infection rate had spiked and enforcing strict closure and “stay-at-home” rules until the infection rate had gone down as confirmed by widespread testing. EY had great success in limiting serious illnesses and deaths during the first wave and should consider the Chinese model now to avoid having this new round of infections spread across the country.

  2. The last number of weeks as I drove in Beitar Illit, at least 70% of the people were not wearing masks or wearing them on their throat. The Mayor should be putting his effort into making sure people are wearing masks. That would have cut down on the number of infections. Anyone could see that.

  3. The places that were the most machmir during the first wave ie Beitar and Netanya were the first to get hit in the second wave. This is actually their first wave. Being overly machmir didn’t save anybody. It only postponed it.

  4. Milhouse: Actually, the success of the Chinese lockdowns of several neighborhoods in Beijing and Chengdu during some second wave spikes early in June were reported in both the Israeli and European media. I’m sure you get your unfiltered news from Fox, News and the other Trumpkopf news networks so you probably have better information. Its also probably easier to do a big lockdown in a closed society where obedience to State directives is almost absolute as compared to the libertarian idiots over here who refuse to wear a mask under circumstances.