Israel sees deserted streets on Yom Kippur during holiday
JERUSALEM (ISRAEL) – Unlike earlier holidays on Yom Kippur, this year saw deserted highways in city centres in Israel.
The country stepped into its second-wave lockdown on September 18 after a surge of new cases. The country with a population of nine million people has reported at least 1,441 deaths due to COVID-19.
According to a spokesman for the Chief Rabbinate, health ministry directives that prayers be held in small groups, maintaining social distancing, outdoors led to an order for an effective shutdown for many synagogues.
Ronni Gamzu, the head of the pandemic taskforce, said in a letter quoted by Israeli media, “At this period of atonement and forgiveness, I would like to ask this of all citizens of Israel.”
“And my apologies to everyone in Israel – security, traditional, religious or ultra-religious – for the holiday period that will be constrained this year.”
Entry and exit from the occupied Palestinian Territories were closed down, as during most Israeli holidays.