update desk

Knesset passes law curtailing protests during COVID-19 lockdown

Under the new law, passed following a stormy all-night parliament session, Israelis may not travel more than .6 miles to attend a demonstration or prayers, and public gatherings are limited to 20 people.

A protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outside the Knesset in Jerusalem on Sept. 29, 2020. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90.
A protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outside the Knesset in Jerusalem on Sept. 29, 2020. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90.

Following a heated all-night parliamentary session, Israel’s Knesset on Wednesday passed a law limiting public protests during the national COVID-19 lockdown.

Under the law, Israelis are barred from attending demonstrations more than .6 miles from their homes, and outdoor gatherings are limited to a maximum of 20 individuals.

The passing of the bill, by a vote of 46-38 just after 4:30 a.m., was made possible largely by the fact that on Tuesday, the Likud Party dropped dozens of reservations that it had filed regarding various articles in the bill.

The ruling party had previously demanded, for example, that the ban on mass protests remain in effect for the duration of the pandemic even after the current lockdown is lifted. Coalition partner Blue and White said it would not allow that type of prohibition to pass into law.

Under the final version of the bill, the government-declared “special coronavirus emergency” allows the Cabinet to limit all public gatherings, including protests, prayers and religious ceremonies, for a period of a week with the possibility of a two-week extension should the state of emergency remain in place.

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.

You have read 3 articles this month.
Register to receive full access to JNS.

Just before you scroll on...

Israel is at war.

JNS is combating the stream of misinformation on Israel with real, honest and factual reporting. In order to deliver this in-depth, unbiased coverage of Israel and the Jewish world, we rely on readers like you.

The support you provide allows our journalists to deliver the truth, free from bias and hidden agendas. Can we count on your support?

Every contribution, big or small, helps JNS.org remain a trusted source of news you can rely on.

Become a part of our mission by donating today
Topics
Comments
Thank you. You are a loyal JNS Reader.
You have read more than 10 articles this month.
Please register for full access to continue reading and post comments.
Never miss a thing
Get the best stories faster with JNS breaking news updates