Hundreds of people on Wednesday participated in the funeral of the leader of the Bohush Hasidic dynasty Rabbi Yitzhak Friedman, in Jerusalem in violation of health directives in place in order to stop the spread of coronavirus.
As a small group of police officers stood by, some 300 followers of the Hassidic sect gathered for eulogies without wearing face mask or maintaining social distancing.
They later departed in a procession of waiting buses to the Mount of Olives cemetery where the rabbi was buried.
Under the regulations currently in place in Israel, gatherings are restricted to no more than 20 people at an outdoor event and 10 people for an indoor meeting of any kind.
One police officer told Ynet that the organizers had committed to remaining in capsules during the event.
“Everything is fine, they are in capsules,” the officer said although it was evident that that commitment had not been kept.
A police patrol car that arrived at the scene made a hasty departure without interfering in the funeral service.
The Haredi community in Israel has repeatedly come under criticism for refusing to abide by the health regulations put in place to combat the spread of coronavirus.
This has led to high infection rates in ultra-Orthodox areas, and sometimes violent clashes between police and Haredi protesters across Israel as authorities tried to enforce mitigation efforts.
Following these clashes, an agreement was reportedly reached between the community and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Public Security Minister Amir Ohana that police would refrain from entering ultra-Orthodox areas despite health violations.
Both Netanyahu and Ohana denied the report.
First published: 12:50 , 10.22.20