Mayor of Beit Shemesh Aliza Bloch has welcomed the government’s decision on neighborhood closures in her city with the following statement:
“The Prime Minister’s Ministerial Committee approved my request to provide a comprehensive support system and services to the Nahala, Menucha, and Ramat Beit Shemesh II neighborhoods, and I look forward to implementing these measures as soon as possible.
“We received permission to provide extensive social assistance, enrichment and leisure activities to help families confined to their homes. The Beit Shemesh municipality will do everything it can to help these neighborhood residents go through these days while strictly adhering to all lockdown measures.
“I will also emphasize that the effort to evacuate those testing positive for COVID-19 from the city will continue and I urge all residents of the city to continue to adhere to the coronavirus guidelines.”
During the summer of 2019, Bloch sustained harsh criticism from the Haredi sector over a spate of illegally-built synagogue demolitions, with workers removing the spray-painted (in Hebrew) slogan “Aliza Bloch = Hitler” from a wall. Other graffiti labeled her a terrorist. On 1 August, a Beit Shemesh synagogue built on Israel Lands Authority property was demolished by the government, with residents blaming the municipality for not interceding enough on their behalf. A few days later, Haredim protested the mistreatment of many families who were ignored in their basic education and religious needs.