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Amid Haredi violations, Gantz says ‘no point’ in lockdown if enforcement selective

Amid more and more reports of large-scale instituted violations of the lockdown rules in the ultra-Orthodox community, Defense Minister Benny Gantz says there is “no point” continuing the lockdown if enforcement is selective.

“This week we will decide whether to extend the lockdown” beyond January 21, Gantz says during a tour of a contact-tracing center.

“If there isn’t equal enforcement, there is no point in continuing the lockdown,” he says.

Channel 12 reports that residents of ultra-Orthodox areas are operating a special phone line with many informants updating every time a police vehicle arrives, including what streets they are on.

The line operates in Jerusalem’s Mea Shearim neighborhood and in several neighborhoods in Beit Shemesh, according to the report.

Police clash with ultra-Orthodox Jewish men while enforcing lockdown rules in Jerusalem’s Mea Shearim neighborhood on January 14, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

A Mea Shearim resident is quoted saying police rarely come in any case, and leave quickly when they do.

“Everything is going on as usual with us. Everything’s open,” he says.

Many reports have said major yeshivas are open. Hundreds of demonstrators clashed with cops who came to close one in Jerusalem and threw rocks and other objects at them.

No arrests were made and several fines were issued.

The ultra-Orthodox community has significantly higher positive COVID-19 test rates than the general population.

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