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Large crowds gather at bonfires in Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh contrary to guidelines

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke on Monday night with Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, the Acting Police Commissioner, the head of the National Security Council (NSC), and other factors following the breaching of the guidelines and the lighting of Lag B’Omer bonfires that led to mass crowds in Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh.

NSC head Meir Ben Shabat said in the conversation that this was a behavior that could lead to a new outbreak of coronavirus.

The Prime Minister said that he strongly condemns the breach of the rules and instructed that enforcement be immediately increased and the crowds dispersed.

The conversation took place after hundreds of people gathered around a bonfire in the Mea She’arim neighborhood of Jerusalem, contrary to the directives of the Ministry of Health and the Cabinet decision to ban bonfires as part of the effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Bonfires were also lit in other places in Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh.

Forces from the Yasam police unit dispersed the crowd in Mea She’arim. A statement from the Israel Police read, “Police forces have dispersed the gathering of several hundred residents of Mea She’arim in Jerusalem, which took place contrary to the guidelines in the Public Health Order.” One person was arrested.

Police this morning prevented the entry of 160 people trying to enter Meron via unpaved trails.

During the night, dozens of people who tried to reach the village by foot and car, from neighboring communities, and by staying overnight in tents and caves were prevented from entering.

Suspected violators of emergency regulations, residents of Bnei Brak and Jerusalem, were detained and some fined.

Source: Arutz Sheva