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PM to propose increasing fines for schools reopening in violation of virus rules

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Thursday that next week he will propose increasing fines for educational institutions operating in violation of virus lockdown measures, after the reopening of some ultra-Orthodox schools and yeshivas in defiance of the regulations.

Though schools nationwide have been officially shut due to virus restrictions, hundreds of ultra-Orthodox elementary and high-school yeshivas — including in high infection areas — have opened in defiance of the law at the order of a senior rabbi, with many ultra-Orthodox officials justifying the move and police only sporadically enforcing the restrictions.

Preschools and daycares were allowed to reopen on Sunday.

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The size of fines for rule-breakers has been an ongoing debate, and Netanyahu did not provide specifics on his upcoming proposal. Coronavirus czar Ronni Gamzu has pushed for fines as high as NIS 50,000 ($14,800), but top police officials on Tuesday reportedly said it was unreasonable to expect officers to hand out such steep fines, as it would be emotionally difficult for them to do.

Channel 12 reported that in light of police opposition, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein........

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