Israelis on Tuesday swarmed supermarkets, waiting hours in lines to stockpile groceries ahead of the nationwide lockdown for the holiday of Passover.
The lockdown, which includes a curfew on the night of Seder, is set to come into effect on Tuesday afternoon and last until late Saturday. The cabinet was due to approve the final lockdown draft on Tuesday morning.
"I was in shock, a lot of people lined up along the parking lot with shopping carts," said Dana, 42, from Tel Aviv who arrived at her local grocery shop for a Passover food haul. "The queue lasts from the entrance all the way to the end of the huge parking lot … it’ll be at least two hours before I’ll get in.”
In northern Israel the situation was similar as hundreds of people rushed to the local food stores, despite the government insisting the lockdown will not affect grocery shops.
"I am buying things for my grandparents," said Rinat Yarden from Haifa, who waited in line to get into the “Victory” supermarket in the city. "I ordered an online delivery order for them, but a lot of things still didn't arrive, so they need more stuff.”
In the southern city of Be’er Sheva, some people began camping in front of supermarkets hours before they had even opened.
“I’ve been waiting since 7:30am,” said Osnat, who went shopping at her local Mahsanei HaShuk supermarket branch. “I’m here because of the lockdown … There are some here who have been waiting since 6:30am.”
Another Be’er Sheva shopper said he’d travelled all the way from Mitzpe Ramon, which is 71km (44 miles) away.
“I came to do the shopping in Be’er Sheva for my essentials,” said Yoni Kirschenbaum. “The length of the queue is discouraging but we need essentials … I hope we make it through this difficult time.”