Severity: Warning Alert

Security: Protests against domestic violence being held in multiple cities across Israel May 6. Increased security in place; disruptions likely.

This alert affects Israel

This alert began 06 May 2020 10:34 GMT and is scheduled to expire 07 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Protests
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Date: May 6
  • Impact: Travel, transport, and business disruptions, heightened security

Summary
Protests against an increase in domestic violence against women while coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions are in place are occurring in several Israeli cities May 6. Protest locations include Be'er Sheva, Herzliya, Holon, Rishon LeZion, Rehovot, Jerusalem, and Tel Aviv.

Despite the nationwide COVID-19 restrictions, Israeli authorities are allowing the protests as long as participants observe social distancing requirements and wear face masks. Should further demonstrations materialize in the coming days, gatherings are likely around popular protest sites, including public squares, city centers, and government buildings. In Tel Aviv, popular protest location sites include Rabin Square, Habima Square, and Dizengoff Square. In Jerusalem, demonstrations have occurred outside government ministries, the Prime Minister's Office, and Ha-Shabat Square.

Localized transport disruptions are likely. Security forces will probably deploy near all demonstration sites; clashes are unlikely but could occur if protesters are overly disruptive or fail to observe existing COVID-19 related social distancing guidelines.

Background and Analysis
Domestic violence against women has reportedly significantly increased since authorities imposed a nationwide lockdown to stem the spread of COVID-19 April 14. A total of five women have been killed in suspected domestic violence cases during the lockdown period. Another two women reportedly committed suicide after falling victim to gender-based violence.

Advice
Avoid all announced or proposed protest actions due to the potential for violence. Exercise caution near likely protest locations. Monitor local media for protest activity, as organizers may not announce plans in advance. Confirm the availability of transport and allow additional time to reach destinations. Plan for increased security and localized transport disruptions near demonstrations. Follow all police instructions.


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