A Jerusalem shopping mall in the predominantly ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Romema has been operating in violation of coronavirus restrictions, unimpeded by the authorities.
While coronavirus restrictions have kept shopping malls around the country shut, with shop owners are struggling to stay afloat after the slow exit from the last nationwide lockdown, the Haredi businesses operating in the Rav Shefa mall have remained open.
Maintenance services including a cleaning crew and security guards were also on hand.
Meanwhile, Jerusalem continues to lead the country in morbidity with 45,192 active coronavirus cases as of Thursday morning.
A resident of the city who observed the businesses operating in the enclosed three-story mall on Wednesday alerted the Jerusalem police, but an officer who arrived at the scene failed to enforce the government-mandated restrictions or fine any of the store owners for violating them.
When he tried to gage why no legal action was taken, the resident was directed from one department to the next and finally told he was not authorized to be informed as to any police action taken.
Jerusalem Municipality said in response that they are working in coordination with the police to enforce restrictions, but that the police can also order businesses to close.
Israel Police said it is continuing to enforce coronavirus restrictions throughout the country.
"Following the revelation that the mall was operating in violation of the law, the police will take legal steps against the mall owner and individual shops," the police said.
The ultra-Orthodox community has come under fire for continued violations of coronavirus restrictions, with many religious educational institutions remaining open at the urging of spiritual leaders who cite the importance of uninterrupted study of the Torah. Crowded weddings and funerals have also taken place with no virus mitigation efforts being observed.