Police close Bnei Brak synagogue amid coronavirus restrictions

Police closed a synagogue in Bnei Brak on Wednesday that operated illegally even though it was supposed to be closed due to coronavirus restrictions.

MEN PRAY outside during the third nationwide COVID-19 lockdown, in Bnei Brak on Thursday. (Yossi Zeliger/Flash90) (photo credit: YOSSI ZELIGER/FLASH90)
MEN PRAY outside during the third nationwide COVID-19 lockdown, in Bnei Brak on Thursday. (Yossi Zeliger/Flash90)
(photo credit: YOSSI ZELIGER/FLASH90)
Police closed a synagogue in Bnei Brak on Wednesday that operated illegally even though it was supposed to be closed due to coronavirus restrictions.
The Ambramsky street synagogue was fined NIS 5,000 for violating restrictions and allowing the gathering of dozens of people, according to Maariv, The Jerusalem Post's sister newspaper.
Earlier this week, the police also enforced the closure of a school in the same neighborhood.
Maariv reported that a Tel Aviv University study published on Thursday outlines three factors behind why many ultra-Orthodox people do not cooperate with coronavirus restrictions: religious values, social-ideological values, and lifestyle.
Ultra-orthodox cities have the lowest proportion of fines for violation of government coronavirus regulations despite having some of the highest morbidity rates, according to a new study sponsored by Israel Hofsheet (Be Free Israel), an organization that struggles against religious coercion and for pluralism.
The number of fines issued in the largest haredi cities, including Bnei Brak, Modi’in Illit, Betar Illit and Elad, is proportionally some 18 times lower than in the 50 cities with the highest rates of fines to COVID-19 patients, Israel Hofsheet said.
The police have announced on Thursday that they intend to tighten coronavirus restrictions at large. They plan to deploy additional checkpoints across the country, Maariv reported.
The police will be hyper-focused on prohibited gatherings, restrictions on traffic and commerce, and quarantine compliancethroughout the country, according to Maariv.

Jeremy Sharon contributed to this report.