Israel’s own ‘Freedom Convoy’ reaches Jerusalem
A massive chain of vehicles has jammed up traffic in Jerusalem as thousands of Israelis took to the streets to protest the country’s coronavirus restrictions, taking a note from the ‘Freedom Convoy’ demonstration organized in Canada's capital over ongoing vaccine requirements there.
Long lines of cars could be seen heading for Jerusalem on Monday, reportedly from cities across Israel, in footage circulating on social media. Like their Canadian trucker counterparts, protesters blared on their horns, hoisted banners, and chanted slogans against the Covid mandates, some even carrying Canada’s national flag while doing so.
HAPPENING NOW IN ISRAEL: 30,000 vehicles and 40 convoys from 40 cities across Israel converge into one united Israeli Freedom Convoy in Jerusalem to protest the undemocratic #Covid restrictions. Inspired by the great #CanadianFreedomConvoy#IsraeliFreedomConvoy#FreedomConvoypic.twitter.com/EriCLGPi16— OshyEllman (@oshyellman1) February 14, 2022
Over 20,000 vehicles in a Freedom Convoy blocked the roads in Jerusalem. pic.twitter.com/pOEgmWSJrL— Aaron Ginn (@aginnt) February 14, 2022
According to the Jerusalem Post, a group of demonstrators later made their way to the city’s parliament building to continue the protest. Though authorities have yet to confirm the size of the gathering, media reports estimated that thousands of protesters and hundreds of vehicles took part in the action, while activists placed the figure in the tens of thousands.
ISRAEL — 'Freedom convoy' members in Jerusalem demonstrate against COVID mandatespic.twitter.com/CRy9BjtgXD— Election Wizard 🇺🇸 (@ElectionWiz) February 14, 2022
HAPPENING NOW IN ISRAEL: 20,000 vehicles in 40 convoys from across Israel are participating in #Israel's Freedom Convoy converging in Jerusalem this next hour. Inspired by the #CanadianFreedomConvoy citizens are calling for the repeal of all Corona restrictions and emergency laws pic.twitter.com/uvXV10bGBy— OshyEllman (@oshyellman1) February 14, 2022
Though officials have scaled back some of Israel’s Covid restrictions in recent weeks as daily infection numbers continue to decline – including requirements to show proof of vaccination to enter certain public spaces – the policy remains partially in place, while mask mandates continue for schools, shops and healthcare facilities.
In #Jerusalem#Israel outside Israel's Knesset, citizens join #IsraelsFreedomConvoy to call for an immediate annulment to Israel’s state of emergency and to the recent “Enabling Act” which establishes the infrastructure for #COVID19 laws and which compromise basic human rights. pic.twitter.com/vEChlb78ja— OshyEllman (@oshyellman1) February 14, 2022
The mobile protest closely mirrors demonstrations staged across Canada in recent weeks, where a convoy of long-haul truck drivers has gathered to denounce cross-border vaccination requirements for those traveling between Canada and the United States. Despite repeated orders to disperse, police have been unable to clear away the protesters, prompting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to invoke the country’s Emergencies Act on Monday – a first in Canada’s history. While the PM said he would not unleash the military on the protesters, he has deemed the demonstration an “illegal blockade” that is “disrupting the lives of too many Canadians,” suggesting harsher measures would be used to end the weeks-long action.