IDF battalions operating in Jerusalem, Bnei Brak on coronavirus duty

Two IDF battalions are operating in Jerusalem, specifically in its ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods, along with two others in Bnei Brak, providing tens of thousands of at-risk and quarantined residents with food three times a week, the head of the Home Front Command Maj. Gen. Tamir Yadai says.

Yadai says the troops were also helping educate and inform the residents about the coronavirus, evacuating those who contracted the virus and assisting the Magen David Adom ambulance service perform tests.

IDF Home Front Command soldiers hand out food packages in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, April 5, 2020. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

The general acknowledges that the military was struggling to convince people in Bnei Brak and Jerusalem who contracted the virus to leave their homes for a designated quarantine hotel, despite the military ensuring that all the food would meet the religious standards of every ultra-Orthodox denomination.

Yadai says Jerusalem and Bnei Brak are currently the only two cities in Israel to be designated as “red” on the military’s red-yellow-green scale from most to least affected by the coronavirus.

He said another 10 municipalities are at risk of joining them, but that the Home Front Command and other government institutions are working with local authorities to prevent that from happening.

— Judah Ari Gross

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