Five Arrested in Anti-vaccine Protest Outside Bennett's Private Residence

Police say demonstrators refused to disperse, reached secure area ■ Protest comes a day after Bennett criticized vaccine refusers in a televised speech

Ran Shimoni
Ran Shimoni
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Naftali Bennett's house in Ra'anana.
Naftali Bennett's house in Ra'anana.Credit: Hadas Parush
Ran Shimoni
Ran Shimoni

Police arrested five anti-vaccination protesters outside Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's private residence in Ra'anana on Friday.

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According to the police, the protesters refused to disperse when ordered to do so. One police source said that the protesters managed to reach the entrance of the secure compound "and were so close that the Shin Bet [security service] refused to allow the protest to continue."

Several dozen vaccine opponents took part in the demonstration, although only a "quiet protest" with up to five participants and at a distance of at least 150 meters from the home were allowed.

Although the protest thus broke regulations from the start, a police source said "there was an effort to contain the demonstration." When protesters refused to disperse after around an hour, police began removing them by force. Demonstrators plan to hold another protest outside Bennett's house on Saturday evening.

According to restrictions set by police, protests next to Bennett's home may be held up to three times a week – two on weekdays and one on the weekend – and without creating "loud or unreasonable noise." In addition, if there are over 200 participants, the protest must be moved to another location in the city.

On Thursday, Bennett used a televised address to criticize people choosing not to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, saying that they were endangering the rest of the country's citizens.

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