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December 31, 2020 10:15 am

Israel Police to Clamp Down on New Year’s Celebrations Amid Third National Lockdown

avatar by i24 News

Israeli Border Police officers manage traffic on a street near a roadblock, during enforcement of a government decision to impose nightly curfews in dozens of towns and neighborhoods to stem the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Jerusalem, Sept. 8, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Ammar Awad.

i24 News – Police officers will be deployed across Israel Thursday evening with an order to break-up thousands of illegal New Year’s gatherings amid a third national lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19.

Health Ministry officials are concerned that much of the progress made since the start of the lockdown, which began on Sunday, will be lost as cases continue to soar to more than 5,000 daily infections.

According to Hebrew media reports, some 2,000 cops will enforce virus lockdown restrictions and dismantle house parties, “nature” parties held in open areas outdoors, and gatherings at vacation homes rented for the New Year’s celebration.

Police will also utilize helicopters and drones to search for illegal gatherings, and erect roadblocks to enforce movement restrictions and check for drunk driving.

Israelis are currently barred from traveling more than one kilometer from their homes, while individuals are strictly forbidden from entering another person’s home aside from immediate family.

Hebrew media reported Wednesday that health officials are concerned the latest lockdown rules are not being enforced strongly enough, with too much travel and intermingling taking place to cut down the morbidity rate.

Israeli health officials said earlier this week that the restrictions will remain in place until cases drop below 1,000 per day, a goal that may take weeks to reach.

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