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July 19, 2020 10:13 am

Israeli Coalition Chair: ‘Absurd’ to Allow Mass Protests, Shutter Businesses

avatar by JNS.org

People protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government’s response to the financial fallout of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis, in Jerusalem, Israel, July 14, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Ronen Zvulun / File.

JNS.org – Coalition Chairman Miki Zohar railed on Saturday night against the health hazard posed by the mass demonstrations taking place in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, particularly in view of the renewal of restrictions on public life spurred by the spike in coronavirus infection.

Zohar, who also serves as the chairman of the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud faction of the Knesset, tweeted: “To approve mass demonstrations that pose a health risk to all Israeli citizens on the one hand and to close many businesses that adhere to the [COVID-19] guidelines on the other, is absurd. The government must decide: Open up the whole economy, including mass demonstrations full of hatred, or immediately stop these sponsored demonstrations, just as it decided to close the businesses.”

Zohar’s comments came after police were forced to use water canons to disperse some 1,500 protesters near the Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem, and tear gas to break up a larger rally in Tel Aviv. These were the latest in a series of violent demonstrations against Netanyahu and his government’s handling of the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

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