Head of the Health Ministry's Public Health Services, Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis, on Saturday evening attacked the protesters who gathered in Tel Aviv despite the nationwide lockdown, N12 reported.
Referring to the protest of nearly 200 people at Tel Aviv's Frishman beach on Saturday afternoon, Alroy-Preis voiced strong concern and criticism.
"I must say that as a Zionist Israeli I find it really hard to see these protests with Israeli flags, and the people's lack of understanding," Alroy-Preis said in an interview with N12. "On the one hand, those people are waving Israeli flags and on the other hand, they're doing exactly that which is harmful to the nation right now."
Alroy-Preis addressed the personal responsibility and constraint that people need to show during the lockdown, in order for the nation to recover as soon as possible.
"It's hard telling children in schools to stay apart, not to eat together. But I can tell that to adults. So I tell people - Go to your jobs, but avoid unnecessary gathering. Don't eat in public cafeterias because it will eventually impact us all," Alroy-Preis said.
Earlier Friday, dozens of people made their way to Tel Aviv's Frishman Beach to protest the lockdown restrictions. According to N12, more than 1,000 people confirmed that they would attend, but only some 200 people eventually came. Police on the scene continued to call on protesters to disperse, as holding protests and going to beaches are prohibited according to the new restrictions. The Black Flags movement, one of the major players in organizing anti-government demonstrations in recent months, also voiced criticism and denounced the Saturday protest at Frishman beach, while calling on all citizens to follow the guidelines.
Alroy-Preis, former deputy CEO of Carmel Medical Center, replaced Prof. Sigal Sadetsky as head of the Health Ministry's Public Health Services in July.
Sadetsky, who helped lead Israel in its battle against coronavirus during the first wave, announced that she was stepping down in early July. In her resignation letter, she said that management of the second wave of coronavirus is plagued by frivolous, unsubstantiated and populist decision-making.
Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman contributed to this report.