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Israel: Supreme Court petition against lockdown submitted

A letter of warning was sent this morning to the Prime Minister, the Health Minister and the Attorney General before a petition was submitted to the Supreme Court against the lockdown, as part of the requirement to exhaust procedures before submitting the petition. The arguments in the petition to be filed will be based on this letter.

The letter was submitted by Attorneys Batya Zacks and Rita Price, and speaks on behalf of a number of medical, science, academia, law, journalism personages, and citizens.

The arguments set out in the letter disprove, one by one, all justifications raised for imposing the closure, both regarding the extent of the morbidity of the virus, which health officials testified in the Knesset Coronavirus Committee is much less than publicized due to incorrect definitions, both regarding the number of critical and ventilated patients and the expected increase in their number; and regarding the threat of the collapse of the hospitals, which is far from reality and is not necessarily related to the coronavirus disease, and also regarding mortality rates from the virus that are very low.

Moreover, the arguments demonstrate that there is no transparency regarding the database on which the government based its decision when it came to imposing a closure. There is also concern that there is a distortion of data and inflation of patient numbers, resulting from artificial definitions that do not reflect the true morbidity and mortality data.

“The competent authorities have completely distorted the definition of the severely ill, the reasons for ventilating the patients defined as coronavirus patients, registration and reporting of the causes of death among coronavirus carriers; they’ve taken the sharpest, most offensive, and harshest step of all, without considering many other measures that are less harmful, and have caused the economy huge losses and deficits, which will inevitably also lead to cuts in the medical budget,” said Health Communication Lecturer at IDC Herzliya International School Dr. Yaffa Shir Raz.

“Had the estimated loss from a two-week closure been taken and invested in improving the readiness of hospitals and medical manpower, the benefit would have been dozens of times higher, without causing the destruction of individuals, families, companies, and entire communities, as a result of lockdown.”

“The conclusion that emerges from this is that the closure move now taken by the government and imposed on the entire population without any serious discussion of alternatives that are less harmful, and while ignoring the voices of many doctors who oppose Health Ministry policy, suffers from extreme lack of reason indicating foreign considerations,” Dr. Shir Raz said.

The initiators of the Supreme Court petition asked those who signed the Freedom of Information Act request to the Health Ministry, and the letter by doctors and scientists, to join the Supreme Court petition, the link to which can be found on Dr Yaffa Shair Raz’s Facebook page.

Header: Israeli police at a roadblock in the Hephzibah neighborhood in Beit Shemesh that was under a lockdown “in an attempt to prevent the spread of the coronavirus”, on July 10, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Source: Arutz Sheva