„The Police Department for Internal Investigations will begin reviewing the events to see if there is any criminal culpability on the part of members of the police in the disaster,“ a spokesperson for Mandelblit said, adding that the police were instructed not to interview any of their members.
Calls are growing for a public inquiry in Israel, after the country’s largest gathering since the start of the pandemic ended in tragedy.
At least 44 people were killed in a stampede at a religious festival at Mount Meron, where tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews gathered on Thursday night.
The police opened a preliminary investigation into the deadly event as they face criticism for their decision to block one of the passages on the site.
„The event is under investigation, but it’s worth noting that this year, there are fewer people on the mountain than in previous years.“
Die Behörden hatten die Teilnehmerzahl der Wallfahrt auf 10.000 Pilger beschränkt, nach Angaben der Organisatoren reisten aber mindestens 30.000 Gläubige aus ganz Israel an.
„It happened in a split second; people just fell, trampling each other. It was a disaster,“ another witnesses said. Two different witnesses told Haaretz that a police barricade prevented people from exiting and caused overcrowding.
Police evacuated the tens of thousands of people from Mount Meron via the parking lots and several stations after closing the main entrance to the site to restrict movement.
The maps were drafted in consultation with health experts including former city health commissioner and Centers for Disease Control director Dr. Tom Frieden, Dr. Noam Ross of EcoHealth Alliance, and Dr. Michael Osterholm of the University of Minnesota.
The violence, which took place in the ultra-Orthodox cities of Betar Ilit, Modi’in Ilit, and even in the “city of Torah and Hasidism” Bnei Brak, was severe, say the people who witnessed it. The general feeling is of a loss of control, not just on the part of the police. Thousands thronged the streets, objects flew in the air, garbage cans were lit on fire and harsh words were spoken (“Nazis,” they called policemen). These weren’t extremists, not the usual rebellious “Jerusalem faction” of zealots. These were people from the Haredi mainstream.
The sect is known for its civil disobedience and frequent clashes with security forces over conscription as well as state and religious affairs.
Officers also raided two mass gatherings in the area, celebrating the Sukkot holiday, one organized by a confirmed virus carrier and another, a Tish (a gathering of Hasidim around their Rebbe), organized by the Zotshka Hasidic Dynasty.
Indeed, the governor also announced that the state would take over supervision of enforcement of mask and social-distancing rules in the hot spot clusters, presumably putting the State Police in charge of New York City Police Department officers.
That deadline is a day earlier than Mayor Bill de Blasio had set — and equally irrelevant for the hundreds of Jewish schools in the areas, most of which are closed right now because of the Sukkot holiday.
Cuomo also announced that he would take over efforts to enforce social distancing and mask mandates in New York City areas with rising cases, many of which are home to significant Orthodox populations.
After initially leading the nation in positive coronavirus tests, New York City was able to get the virus under control earlier this year through strong messaging on the importance of social distancing and the widespread closures of businesses. But in recent weeks, city officials and residents had been watching the numbers tick back up, particularly in Orthodox Jewish areas.
Over the past two weeks, the number of new cases of the virus has been rising in pockets of the city, predominantly in neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens that are home to the city’s large Orthodox Jewish population.
Ultra-Orthodox minister and Netanyahu ally Yaakov Litzman resigned from government in protest over an expected lockdown on Sunday.
Litzman is the chairman of the United Torah Judaism party and construction and housing minister. He had threatened to resign earlier Sunday if the coronavirus cabinet votes to impose a two-week lockdown ahead of the Rosh Hashanah holiday.
„It is not our place to interfere with the government’s decision,“ the Court concluded.
A leading member of the Communist Party of Israel, Joint List MK Ofer Cassif (Hadash) has denounced the growing number of attacks voiced in recent days against Israel’s ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) population, which has been hit hardest by the coronavirus, partially due to a small minority in the sector’s refusal to comply with the Health Ministry guidelines. “The guidelines must be followed. The hatred for the ultra-Orthodox must be denounced and extracted from within us, like all racism,” said Cassif.
The Health Ministry sent a letter on Wednesday to hospitals, calling on them to reduce their use of anesthesia, due to a global shortage of anesthetics coupled with the use of many anesthetics to treat coronavirus patients. (…)
1:35 P.M. Bnei Brak hospital says it cannot accept more patients requiring ventilators
The Ma’ayanei HaYeshua Hospital in Bnei Brak says it can no longer accept patients who require ventilators because of a shortage in monitoring devices required to operate them.
Micky Rosenfeld, a police spokesman, told Reuters: “Bnei Brak is on lockdown, as of this morning, and police will prevent any movements in or out of the city.
“People are only allowed in or out for medical reasons or medical support.”
The Israeli government is expected to declare full lockdowns of numerous ultra-Orthodox communities across the country and West Bank to contain the fast-spreading coronavirus.
A Knesset (Israeli Parliament) ministerial committee was formed late on Sunday to oversee the decision that is expected to affect at least eight cities that and more than a dozen neighborhoods.
“Since yesterday I’m trying to find someone to help get Passover food to four elderly couples that I’ve been taking care of for three weeks, and there’s no one to turn to,” said a city resident. “I tried everyone I know, and I know a lot of people. There’s no response from the municipality, all those getting paid by the city don’t want to deal with me. The police send me to the municipality, and from there they send me to the Home Front Command, which sends me back to the municipality.”
Earlier on Friday the government declared Bnei Brak, home to around 200,000 people, a „restricted zone“ after invoking emergency powers to quell the outbreak, which has spread quickly throughout the community.
The military is expected to deploy about 1,000 soldiers in Bnei Brak to assist local authorities due to the severity of the situation there and the reported lack of implementation of health ministry instructions.
Die größte von streng-religiösen Juden bewohnte Stadt Israels ist abgeriegelt und zur Sperrzone erklärt. Dutzende von Checkpoints wurden errichtet. 1000 Polizisten, unterstützt von der Armee, sind im Einsatz, patrouillieren unter Anderem in den Straßen. Drohnen überwachen Bnei Brak aus der Luft.