Israel observes a day of remembrance under tightened restrictions due to viruses
Israel observes a day of remembrance under tightened restrictions due to viruses. Convincingly, the dark day of mourning comes as Israel begins to loosen measures designed to battle the coronavirus outbreak. However, with the memorial day and then the Israeli Independence Day beginning Tuesday evening; Israel’s temporarily tightened restrictions were intended to avoid gatherings and crowds that could cause new infections.
Surprisingly, for the first time without crowd, the main ceremony at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, typically attended by bereaved families, dignitaries and the political and military brass. Within a limited number of participants, Israel’s president and military chief of staff wear face masks in compliance with the Health regulations.
On Tuesday morning, in an annual ritual, a two-minute siren will blare, bringing Israel to a halt again, with cars pulling over to the side of highways and pedestrians halting in their tracks. Television and radio are breaking off their daily programming to air somber songs, slain soldiers documentaries, and state memorial services broadcasts.
Meanwhile, Israel has waged half a dozen wars with neighboring Arab countries, battled two Palestinian uprisings and suffered scores of deadly terrorist attacks since its establishment in 1948. Apparently, the country is honoring 23,816 fallen soldiers and more than 3,100 murdered in attacks.
The nation will be moving from solemn remembrance to a joyous celebration at sundown Tuesday, setting off its 72nd Independence Day. Israelis, who usually enjoy beachside barbecues and family celebrations to watch the annual airshow, will be locked-down for the duration of the holiday and will be unable to leave their homes except under certain conditions.
Israel has counted over 15,000 infections with coronavirus and just over 200 deaths. But its infection rate has slowed and shops have started to reopen. Schools will start reopening next week.
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