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Yaakov Litzman, Top Orthodox Minister, Resigns To Protest New COVID Lockdown
 /  Last Modified: September 14, 2020

As Israel announced its decision to start a new national lockdown last week, it became the first country in the world to do so to stop the spread of the virus.

It began Friday and will continue for about three weeks, which would mean the lockdown would include the Jewish new year. The decision would heavily tax the nation, told the Israeli Prime Minister, but it was a decision made because of the rising increase of daily infections.


A minister has resigned, though to protest the decision, especially that it will overlap recognized Jewish festivals. Yaakov Litzman, Housing Minister and leader of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish party, mentioned that the restrictions would stop the Jewish people from following their traditional festivals, such as Yom Kippur, considered to be one of the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, on September 27. He also emphasized that he will make his party pull out of the governing coalition.


Israel’s numbers have recently increased, from 1,108 deaths and over 153,000 confirmed cases of infection. This is according to a worldwide tally kept by Johns Hopkins University.


Government officials devised a plan that would cover all the nation, including the closing of businesses and communal activity and keeping the people within a half-mile of their homes for about two weeks. They did this after haredi lawmakers prevented any efforts to impose any restrictions that would focus on areas with a high number of infected people, which would include predominantly haredi cities.


The lockdown was supposed to finish its planning stage Sunday, but Litzman resigning from being a Housing Minister is one of the most recent waves of protest to approve the plan. Along with people from the haredi sector pressuring the advocates of the lockdown, which included shuttering schools for a month, emphasized that by initiating the lockdown would mean losing any source of income.


Yuli Edelstein, Israel’s Health Minister, mentioned that the lockdown is needed to lessen the daily infections. Although the Prime Minister considered lowering down parts of the lockdown, such as establishing a skeletal force in the offices instead of stopping businesses altogether.


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