Photo: Flash90

Israel marks Jewish New Year in lockdown

Israel entered its second official nationwide lockdown today, amid the seemingly uncontrollable spread of the coronavirus. The closure comes on the Eve of Jewish celebration of the Rosh HaShanah New Year.

In a televised address to the nation, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu highlighted that his decision to impose the restrictive measures was made after Israel’s top health authorities raised an alert over the inability to cope with rapidly rising morbidity levels.

“We determined in advance that one of the criteria for imposing restrictions would depend on the red flag being waived by the health system. It waved this flag last week – therefore, we are imposing the lockdown,” he said.

After reminding citizens that he had told them when restrictions were lifted after the first lockdown that the economy “would work like an accordion,” the Israeli leader explained again that “we open it when morbidity declines down and close it when morbidity rises.”

The Israeli premier also warned that further limits on the public’s freedoms may be mandated in the near future “to balance between health and economic needs.” He revealed that following extensive consultations with Heath Minister Yuli Edelstein, National Coronavirus Project Director Prof. Ronni Gamzu and other professional experts , that “it could be that we will have no choice but to make the directives more stringent.”