Israel Police are preparing for the stricter national lockdown that will take effect at 2 p.m. on Friday and are claiming that, in contrast to past regulations, these regulations will be enforced more strictly, according to Maariv, The Jerusalem Post's sister newspaper.The police plan is split into three stages. The first stage concerns this coming weekend, the second stage concerns Yom Kippur and the third stage concerns the lockdown after Yom Kippur and travel to essential workplaces. The police say that they won't be lenient on the regulation forbidding leaving your home.Thousands of police, Border Police, volunteers, IDF soldiers and inspectors will be deployed throughout the country to enforce the regulations, according to Israel Police.
Additionally, the police intend to unconditionally enforce the prohibition on going to protests that are more than 1,000 meters away from your place of residence. In the protest area being set up in front of the Prime Minister's residence in Jerusalem, if there's an excessively large gathering, the police will either consider widening the area or dispersing the gathering, depending on the plan that will be approved by the Attorney-General.
The Police Operations Division stated that increased forces will be placed at planned locations and added: "We are preparing with two tracks of operations - One track is intended to ensure the prohibitions on leaving homes, and a second track concerns roadblocks at major arteries and intersections. Citizens will be questioned at checkpoints, and those who do not follow the instructions will receive fines just as happened this week. At the same time, we will focus the activity within the cities mainly on dispersing forbidden gatherings," according to Maariv.
While checkpoints were reported in multiple locations over the past week, many commuters reported that they were able to cruise through and travel between cities without even being stopped or questioned. The checkpoints caused heavy traffic on multiple highways, although witnesses claimed that the police at checkpoints were not questioning those traveling through the checkpoints. Many social media users questioned why the lockdown, consisting of strict regulations, was seemingly not being enforced at all. Uncertainty also surrounded the regulations, with many unsure of what exactly is forbidden.According to regulations that will take effect on Friday afternoon, Israelis will only be allowed to exit their homes to travel within a 1 km radius, except for in specific circumstances including buying groceries or medicine, essential work, exercise and a number of other exceptions.
"It is expected that as part of the regulations, bereaved families whose loved ones fell during the Yom Kippur War will be allowed to come to the cemeteries this weekend and this coming Sunday," added the police, according to Maariv.
"We emphasize that even the holidays do not grant immunity to the coronavirus from infecting anyone - therefore everyone is required to stay at home with their nuclear family and avoid going into public space unnecessarily and in violation of the law," said the police.
Israel recorded 7,527 new cases on Thursday, the Health Ministry reported Friday morning. There were an additional 3,586 between midnight and press time. Of those screened, some 12.4% tested positive.
The death toll stands at 1,378, which includes an increase of 59 patients between Wednesday and Thursday evening.
Some 669 people are in serious condition, including 177 on ventilators.
Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman contributed to this report.