The Israel Defense Forces on Friday was formally tasked with providing “civil assistance” to residents of Bnei Brak, a major hotspot of the coronavirus, as police established checkpoints at the entrances and exits of the ultra-Orthodox city on the outskirts of Tel Aviv.
The head of the IDF Home Front Command, Maj. Gen. Tamir Yadai, said the military anticipated being sent to additional parts of the country that were struggling with the pandemic, noting the town of Elad, Migdal Ha’Emek and parts of Jerusalem were possible locations.
On Thursday, the military said two battalions from its 98th Paratroopers Division would be sent to the city, and on Friday morning, the government officially approved the initiative.
The several hundred IDF troops would not be tasked with enforcing the government’s order declaring the city a “restricted zone,” with limited travel permitted into and out of it, but would instead operate inside Bnei Brak, providing “civil assistance” to its residents, Yadai said.
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