Israel on Wednesday condemned as "deplorable" and "unacceptable" the brutal racist attack on an Indian-origin Jew by two persons who called the victim a "Chinese" and yelled 'Corona! Corona" in Tiberias city. Am-Shalem Singson, 28, from the Bnei Menashe community, hailing from the north-eastern states of Manipur and Mizoram, was admitted to the Poriya hospital with severe chest injuries last week.
"The brutal attack on Am-Shalem Singson is deplorable and I condemn it in the strongest sense. This act of violence is totally unacceptable," Deputy Director General at Israel's Foreign Ministry Gilad Cohen tweeted. "To our Indian friends: This is not the Israeli way! I wish a speedy and full recovery," Cohen said.
Singson told the police that he tried very hard to explain to the attackers that he was not Chinese and was not infected by the coronavirus, but it did not help. The incident happened on Saturday. Singson is a resident of the Ma'alot area and immigrated to Israel from India with his family three years ago.
There were no witnesses to the incident and the police search is primarily based on the security footage in the area. "We were shocked to receive the report of the vicious and racist attack in Tiberias," said Michael Freund, Chairman, and Founder of Shavei Israel, the organisation that has been working on the immigration of Bnei Menashe to Israel. "I demand that the Israeli police investigate the incident immediately and prosecute those who committed this heinous act," Freund said.
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu gave a nod to deploy counter-terrorism technology to detect the Coronavirus infection on March 15. Declaring a "war" on the 'invisible enemy', Netanyahu also enacted restrictions across Israel. "We are at war with an enemy, the coronavirus. An invisible enemy," Netanyahu said, according to the Jerusalem Post. On Saturday, the Israeli prime minister assented to digitally monitor coronavirus cases without people's permission, thus courting controversy over privacy concerns.
The Israeli Prime Minister announced that the nation's restaurants and places of entertainment will be closed to stop the spread of the coronavirus. He also encouraged people not to go to their workplaces unless absolutely necessary. "Whoever doesn’t need to go work or doesn’t need to be in a certain place, don’t go," Netanyahu said in a televised address Saturday.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu requested Narendra Modi to approve and allow the export of masks and pharmaceutical raw materials to Israel during his telephonic conversation with his Indian counterpart this week, according to a media report. Israel's Channel 13 on Friday reported that Netanyahu made the request after India decided to stop the export of these items to meet its own domestic requirements in view of the rapid spread of coronavirus. The leading news channel also put out a promotional tweet ahead of its broadcast during its main evening bulletin.
(With PTI inputs)