Video shows man in Tel Aviv being arrested for violating quarantine

Police say individual had been detained the previous day for the same reason, will appear in court for hearing on his detention

Police officers in protective gear arrest an individual who allegedly violated a quarantine order in Tel Aviv on March 14, 2020. (Screen capture/Twitter)
Police officers in protective gear arrest an individual who allegedly violated a quarantine order in Tel Aviv on March 14, 2020. (Screen capture/Twitter)

Video posted to social media on Saturday appeared to show a man being arrested in Tel Aviv for allegedly violating his home quarantine. The arresting officers were wearing special protective gear.

Police said in a statement the man was detained on Bograshov Street after they received a report that he had refused to stay in solitary confinement for a second time. Police had previously arrested him on Friday after he was found at a Tel Aviv train station.

The man will appear in court on Sunday for a hearing on the possible extension of his detention.

Those who knowingly violate the quarantine could be sentenced to seven years in prison, while those who do so out of negligence could get a three-year sentence.

Nearly 40,000 Israelis are in home quarantine for fear of exposure to the virus, according to Health Ministry figures.

To curb the spread of the virus in the country, all Israelis returning from overseas are required to quarantine at home for 14 days. Non-Israeli nationals were barred from entering the country as of March 12, unless they can demonstrate an ability to self-quarantine for two weeks.

In addition, anyone who has been in contact with a known carrier of the infection must also self-isolate.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday announced that Israel would begin using advanced digital monitoring tools to track carriers of the coronavirus, raising major privacy concerns and prompting accusations of mass surveillance.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a speech at his Jerusalem office on March 14, 2020 (GALI TIBBON / POOL / AFP)

Such tracking technologies, which in large part rely on data from cellphones, have principally been used by the Shin Bet security service in counterterrorism operations, not against Israeli citizens who have not been accused of a crime.

While the Shin Bet security service confirmed that the dramatic course of action was indeed being considered, it denied rumors that the tools would be used to enforce quarantines, saying that they would only be employed to help authorities track the paths of confirmed carriers of the disease in order to find people they may have infected.

The number of Israelis diagnosed with coronavirus rose to 200 on Sunday morning. The Health Ministry said two of the sick were in serious condition, with 11 in moderate condition and the rest suffering a light illness.

The government has shuttered all schools and daycare centers, ordered all restaurants and theaters closed, forbidden gatherings of more than 10 people in a room, and encouraged Israelis to work from home instead of their places of business if possible, among other steps.

Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.

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