Authorities of ultra-Orthodox cities and communities are mulling halting all cooperation with the government in the fight against coronavirus, said a letter addressed to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and signed by Haredi officials.
Netanyahu's coronavirus cabinet has approved a lockdown of 30 so-called “red towns” with high infection rates, set to take effect on Monday. The majority of the communities on the list have Arab or ultra-Orthodox populations.
Ynet has learned the heads of the ultra-Orthodox local authorities across the country are still drafting the letter, which accuses Netanyahu of mismanaging the health crisis in the religious sector and creating division between the government and the Haredi public.
The letter also apparently warns the local authorities will stop cooperating with the government on the crisis, citing a lack transparency towards the ultra-Orthodox sector and unilateral decision making.
An ultra-Orthodox source told Ynet that after weeks of slamming coronavirus czar Prof. Ronni Gamzu, the Haredi officials have decided to divert the criticism towards Netanyahu.
"He is the one who does not consider us," the source told Ynet, "Gamzu is just a puppet, Bibi must understand that we are not in his pocket. We have reached a point where we have nothing more to lose."
Chairs of the ultra-Orthodox parties in the Knesset appear to support the local authorities' decision and the letter will be drafted and sent in full coordination with them.
A mass demonstration against Netanyahu is planned to take place in the Haredi city of Bnei Brak, a coronavirus hotspot, later in the day.