IDF to deploy 500 troops to enforce lockdown

PM Netanyahu warns of more restrictions

Israeli police officers seen during a raid on the ultra orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Meah Shearim, as they close shops and disperse public gatherings following the government decisions in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus. March 24, 2020 (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)
Israeli police officers seen during a raid on the ultra orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Meah Shearim, as they close shops and disperse public gatherings following the government decisions in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus. March 24, 2020
(photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)
The IDF will deploy 500 soldiers to accompany police to enforce Health Ministry regulations.
The troops, coming from field units and conscripts from training bases will be deployed starting on Sunday to different police districts to “patrol, block and secure areas,” the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said.
The troops, which have undergone special training for the assignment, will act as an auxiliary force to the police which have the legal authority to enforce the lockdown.
The military said earlier in the week that eight battalions of troops have been trained for the assignment and should it be necessary, additional battalions could be deployed.
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan has also asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for more manpower to enforce the new regulations and according to Haaretz, asked for an additional 1,000 workers from the Population Authority, Agriculture Ministry, and the Nature and Parks Authority to join the effort.
The IDF meanwhile has ordered commanders to enforce the regulations placed by the Health Ministry to avoid crowds and make sure that troops keep a distance of two meters from others.
There are 58 IDF soldiers confirmed to have the virus and another 3,697 in quarantine.

On Friday, the military announced that soldiers currently serving in closed bases will remain there until after Passover, which ends on April 16. 
As part of the IDF’s preparations for the extended stay by troops, 400 washing machines and 400 dryers have been delivered to bases across the country as well as thousands of uniforms, sleeping bags, mattresses, folding beds, bunk beds and personal hygiene kits for men and women.
The military has also urged all commanders and soldiers on base to donate blood. As part of the IDF’s blood drive campaign, approximately 4,200 units of blood have been donated by troops since the beginning of the month.
With a lack of blood supplies across the country, troops and citizens have been urged to give blood all year long. As the coronavirus continues to spread, IDF officers told The Jerusalem Post that there is an opportunity to collect donations from troops who remain on base.
Col. Idan Yosef, commander of the Central Knights Battalion told the Post that “all Israelis should give blood, especially in this situation that we are in. I think that especially in this time, we have to thank the medical professionals – both in the army and civilians. And especially now we have to donate blood, and that’s why I asked that we can do everything we can.”