in Israel, monitoring phones to fight Omicron variant divides

in Israel monitoring phones to fight Omicron variant divides

Faced with the threat of the Omicron variant of Covid-19, Israel barricades itself, closing its borders to foreigners. Israeli citizens returning from African countries classified ” Red “Will be placed in quarantine in the famous hotels” corona “. Only a negative PCR test will allow them to continue their seven-day isolation at home. But the Hebrew state is also reactivating a much maligned method: monitoring cell phones to track down the virus. A measure that even divides the executive.

With our correspondent in Jerusalem, Sami Boukhelifa

Set up by the government of former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from the first months of the pandemic, the tracing of cell phones still scandalizes in Israel.

In the process, the Israeli Supreme Court sounded the alarm, demanding that this practice be framed by law. In July 2020, the Israeli Parliament does so: the Knesset then adopts a text that authorizes the government to use surveillance technologies from the Shin Bet (Israeli internal intelligence), in its fight against the virus. Valid for a period of three weeks, this law has been continuously renewed.

Last March, the Israeli justice sets up new safeguards. There is no longer any question of monitoring the entire population: from now on, tracing is limited only to people refusing to cooperate with the health authorities.

In front of the Omicron variant threat, the new Israeli government returns to this method. The Minister of Planning denounces a violation ” foolish “And accuses Prime Minister Naftali Bennett of” perpetuate the drifts From the former administration of Benjamin Netanyahu.

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