Tel Aviv Suburb Fences Off ultra-Orthodox City Hit by Coronavirus

Fence was quickly taken down by the city of Bnei Brak after Interior Ministry intervened

Bar Peleg
Aaron Rabinowitz
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Dismantling a fence set up by the Ramat Gan municipality on its borders with Bnei Brak, April 6, 2020.
Dismantling a fence set up by the Ramat Gan municipality on its borders with Bnei Brak, April 6, 2020.
Bar Peleg
Aaron Rabinowitz

The Tel Aviv suburb Ramat Gan set up separation fences Monday morning at connection points with the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, claiming that it is closing "loop holes" in the government decision to impose closure on the coronavirus hot spot. 

The Interior Ministry ordered the blockages removed, and even earlier, the municipality of Bnei Brak announced that it would send workers to dismantle the fences.

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Haredi leaders learn harsh corona lesson as Israel sends in the troopsCredit: Haaretz

On Thursday, Israel imposed a closure on Bnei Brak in an attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus epidemic in the city, which has seen one of the most rapid spreads of the virus in the country. 

The Ramat Gan municipality said it erected grid fences after the police began easing the closure on Bnei Brak due to shortage in manpower. The police commented that there is no shortage in manpower and the changes were made according to operational needs.

Last month, Ramat Gan Mayor Carmel Shama wrote that a wall between Bnei Brak and Ramat Gan could not be erected due to the lack of "authority and time."

Police enforcing the closure on Bnei Brak, April 5, 2020.
Police enforcing the closure on Bnei Brak, April 5, 2020. Credit: Tomer Appelbaum

The Ramat Gan municipality said Monday morning that it was closing "loop holes" in the government decision to seal-off the ultra-Orthodox city.  

Deputy Mayor of Bnei Brak said called his neighboring city's conduct "disrespectful, dividing and polarizing."

A Bnei Brak resident told Haaretz that the move anti-Semitic and said "we will come to an account with Shama after this crisis ends in political and legal ways. We feel that we were struck with a knife in the back, and now Shama has come and twisted the knife deeper. We are asking to stop incitement and verbal violence [against us]."

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