High Court: Protest limits during 2nd lockdown were unlawful, all fines annulled

The High Court of Justice rules that regulations that limited anti-government protesters to within a kilometer of their homes during the country’s second lockdown in the fall were unlawful.

Any fines given to demonstrators for breaking those rules will be canceled, the court rules.

The decision also bars the government from imposing such a regulation in the future.

The rule only lasted two weeks between September 30 and October 13, at the height of Israel’s second infection wave.

The limitation was intensely controversial and petitions were immediately filed with the High Court by several anti-government groups. The government then told the court it would not extend the special emergency measure beyond the initial two-week period.

The limitation led the protests to morph from rallies mostly centered around Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and a few other major cities to widespread events held throughout the country, as people protested in central intersections and bridges near their homes. This style of protest lasted well beyond the end of the limitation and is still taking place now during the weekend demonstrations.

Israelis protest against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Dizengoff Square in Tel Aviv, October 8, 2020. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)