Gantz: Whoever prays in a synagogue, mosque puts life of others in danger

Defense Minister calls to reopen education system before anything else

Defense Minister Benny Gantz (photo credit: ARIEL HERMONI / DEFENSE MINISTRY)
Defense Minister Benny Gantz
There is no point in continuing the ongoing lockdown in Israel unless all violators are treated equally, Defense Minister Benny Gantz said on Sunday just two days before the cabinet is set to meet to discuss a Health Ministry recommendation to extend the current closure. 
singled out Ultra-Otrthodox (haredi) Jews and Israeli-Arabs who stand out as the most prominent violators. His comments came amid reports that haredi schools were continuing to operate in Jerusalem, Bnei Brak and other parts of the country despite a government decision to shut down the entire education system.
“Whoever opens a Talmud Torah [religious elementary school]; whoever prays in a synagogue, a mosque or a church; whoever meets with a large number of people is putting the lives of others in danger,” he said.
“The law in Tel Aviv, Shfaram, Beitar Illit and Ashdod is the same law,” he added. “All should abide by the rules. If the law enforcement is not equal, there is no use continuing with the closure.”
While visiting the Alon Coronavirus Command Center at IDF Home Front Command headquarters near Ramle on Sunday, Gantz said he would reevaluate his position regarding the continuance of the current closure later this week.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz tours IDF's Alon Command Center
“We will work this week on [the strategy for] getting out of the closure, on opening the green islands and opening the culture [world] with the green passport and on reopening businesses,” Gantz said.
“We will keep pushing for the education system to be the first to return to operation,” he said. “We should start talking immediately with teachers regarding giving back school days during the summer and the upcoming vacations. We should reward them, and in order to do so, we need to start the talks with them right now.”
Gantz stressed the importance of abiding by the closure rules together with the mass vaccination operation.
“The vaccines are not a goal; they are a means to return to a correct, healthy, day-to-day life,” he said. “What will determine [how quickly it will happen] will be the cooperation of the public and the discipline of each and every one of us in a way that will allow us to overcome this pandemic... We want to see the numbers [of new daily patients] going down and the number of vaccines going up.”
“We want to see the R [number] going down,” Gantz said, referring to the reproduction rate of how many people each infected person will infect. “Since we already entered a nationwide lockdown, we should exhaust this tool.”

Defense Minister Benny Gantz tours IDF's Alon Command Center