Israeli ‘Freedom Convoy’ Against COVID Restrictions Jams Up Jerusalem
Thousands stream into city to protest pandemic regulations and vaccine mandates
Inspired by Canada’s ongoing trucker protests, thousands of Israelis gathered around Jerusalem and at the Knesset on Monday to protest pandemic-linked restrictions and vaccine mandates.
Vehicles from all over the country took part in the so-called Freedom Convoy, with some blocking the main entrance to Jerusalem as dozens of cars and motorcycles blared their horns and brought traffic to a standstill around the city. According to protest organizers, some 20,000 vehicles participated in the event.
In a bid to prevent the vehicles from creating a massive logjam near the parliament building, the Israel Police cordoned off several main roads in and around the area, which forced many demonstrators to continue to the seat of Israel’s government on foot.
Many demonstrators waved Israeli and Canadian flags, beat drums and chanted slogans calling for freedom against “tyranny” and an end to all COVID-19 restrictions.
As the omicron wave subsides, the Israeli government has begun to lift certain coronavirus-linked restrictions, including the need to show proof of vaccination at restaurants, movie theaters and hotels. However, a valid Green Pass is still mandatory to enter indoor sites with a higher risk of infection, such as dance clubs and event halls.
The Health Ministry is also reportedly discussing the possibility of revising face mask requirements in the coming months.