Israel to use anti-terror surveillance and economy closures against coronavirus 'enemy'Record ID: 1463909
- Title: Israel to use anti-terror surveillance and economy closures against coronavirus 'enemy'
- Date: 14th March 2020
- Summary: JERUSALEM (MARCH 14, 2020) (REUTERS) ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU ENTERING CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (Hebrew) ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER, BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, SAYING: "We use all the means at our disposal, including... we will very soon, tomorrow at the cabinet meeting, we will take a decision on technological means. I received a request from the Health Ministry, it is not an easy one - digital means that we have been using in order to fight terrorism and until today I have been avoiding, in all my years as a prime minister, to use these measures within the civil public, but there is no choice. We are now fighting a war that forces us to take special measures." BNEI BRAK, ISRAEL (MARCH 14, 2020) (REUTERS) MAN WITH MASK ON SHOPPING FOR GROCERIES MAN AND WOMAN GRABBING ITEM FROM NEARLY EMPTY SHELVES SHOPPERS STANDING IN LINE FOR CHECKOUT AT SUPERMARKET JERUSALEM (MARCH 14, 2020) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (Hebrew) ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER, BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, SAYING: "I said that we are moving to a different daily routine, so everything related to leisure, culture will be closed as of tomorrow morning." BNEI BRAK, ISRAEL (MARCH 14, 2020) (REUTERS) MAN GRABBING ITEM FROM NEARLY EMPTY SHELF WOMAN WEARING MASK AT SUPERMARKET JERUSALEM (MARCH 14, 2020) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (Hebrew) ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER, BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, SAYING: "This is hard, I get it, I understand what cafÃ© and theatre owners go through. I saw that some of the theatre and concert halls have acted responsibly when we instructed them, that's what they did. I highly appreciate it, this is important. But today we are publishing it as a clear instruction, it will be stopped as of tomorrow morning." BNEI BRAK, ISRAEL (MARCH 14, 2020) (REUTERS) MAN SHOPPING AT SUPERMARKET SUPERMARKET EMPLOYEE CHECKING OUT CUSTOMERS' GROCERIES WOMAN WEARING MASK (SOUNDBITE) (English) SHOPPER, BRIDGET REUBEN, SAYING: "So we think we are going to be on lockdown, that they are about to tell us that we won't be able to leave our houses for the next two weeks, so we came, we stocked up on some food, we bought some canned goods, we bought some frozen food, we bought some carbs, just to have food for the next two weeks, some eggs and things like that so that we have. The supermarkets is completely empty, the shelves are empty so we better have something at home." PEOPLE AT SUPERMARKET CHECKOUT SHOPPER WALKING OUT WITH GROCERIES (SOUNDBITE) (English) SHOPPER, FERNANDO SEIXAS, SAYING: "Because I have a lot of pressure in this time, you hear a lot of bad news, you don't want to take some risk and you can spend here like two hours just to buy all things." MAN WEARING MASK AT SUPERMARKET ALMOST EMPTY SHELVES EMPTY BREAD SHELVES
- Keywords: Coronavirus Israel Netanyahu Palestine anti-terror technology surveillance
- Reuters ID: LVA001C50XPON
- Location: JERUSALEM/ BNEI BRAK, ISRAEL
- City: JERUSALEM/ BNEI BRAK, ISRAEL
- Country: Israel
- Duration: 00:03:08
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Story Text:Israel plans to use anti-terrorist tracking technology and to close down public places to minimise the risk of coronavirus transmission, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Saturday (March 14).
Malls, hotels, cafes, restaurants and theatres will shut down, employees should not go into their workplaces if not necessary while vital services, pharmacies, supermarkets and banks will continue to operate.
He said that the anti-terrorism monitoring tools would be deployed to locate people who had been in contact with those carrying the virus, subject to the approval of the cabinet and Justice Ministry because those measures would infringe patients' privacy.
"(We will use) Digital means that we have been using in order to fight terrorism," Netanyahu said.
To minimise infection, malls, hotels, cafes, restaurants and theatres will shut down, he said, and employees should not go to their workplaces unless it was necessary. However, vital services such as pharmacies, supermarkets and banks would continue to operate.
The Israeli military said all its troops have been ordered back to their bases on Sunday (March 15) morning and that combat soldiers should prepare for a lengthy stay at their bases with no leave for up to a month.
Israel's Health Ministry said 193 people have tested positive, with no fatalities. Many had been on international flights in the past two weeks. Palestinian officials reported 38 confirmed cases in the West Bank and none in Gaza.
The latest announcement follows a series of ever-stricter restrictions imposed by Israel and the Palestinians to contain the virus.
Last week Netanyahu ordered all visitors to Israel to self-isolate for two weeks and closed most schools. Tens of thousands of Israelis are presently quarantined.
(Production: Rami Amichay, Suheir Sheikh)
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