Photo Credit: Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90
Peoples walk freely in Jerusalem, March 16, 2021.

According to the Health Ministry, since the Passover weekend, there have been no red municipalities in Israel, apart from the settlement area of Mas’udein el-Azazme, a Bedouin tribe in the Negev. Other than that, there are six orange municipalities, and the rest of the country is either green or yellow.

One year after the Haredi sector was leading Israel with its Corona numbers and the Haredi city of Bnei Brak entered its first local lockdown, on Monday, according to the Health Ministry, there was only one new Haredi Corona patient in the country. Also, the percentage of positive tests in the Haredi sector is 0.8%, while in the general public it is 1.5%. Also, while the overall infection rate in Israel dropped to 0.55, in the Haredi sector it stands at 0.44.


All the Haredi cities remain green, and the Bnei Brak is the greenest city in Israel. The numbers show that in Bnei Brak there is one patient per 10,000 residents. The same is true in the cities of Beitar Illit and Elad. In Modi’in Illit, Emanuel and Rechasim, there are two patients per 10,000 residents, and in Kiryat Ya’arim there are 11.

For the first time in four months, the number of active patients in Israel is less than 10,000. In the past week, an average of 629 new daily patients were discovered, about half of the daily average the week before.

On Sunday, according to the Health Ministry, there were 128 new patients, based on 11,482 test results.

As of Monday morning, there are 467 Corona patients in severe condition, 201 of whom are on respirators. 6,194 have died in Israel since the outbreak of the pandemic.

5,221,482 have received the first dose of the vaccine, 4,712,877 the second.

Bedouin students tested for the coronavirus in a school tent (illustration). / Wisam Hashlamon/Flash90

The members of the tribe of Mas’udein el-Azazme are scattered between Be’er Sheva in the north and Mitzpe Ramon in the south. The tribe is joined by several smaller tribes, including Al-Ziadin, Abuhsan, Zenon, Kashhar, Ibn Hamid, Danfiri, and Abu Kardod.

On March 17, 1954, 12 terrorists led by Said Abu Bendek, a member of the Mas’udein el-Azazme tribe, murdered passengers on an Egged bus on its way from Eilat to Tel Aviv.

In September 1959, the commander of the Paratroopers’ special forces, Yair Peled, was murdered by two members of the Sarahin tribe which was affiliated with Mas’udein el-Azazme. The killers were turned in by the tribe leadership and were executed without trial by IDF soldiers. Two days later, the commander-in-chief of the Southern Command, General Avraham Yaffe, ordered “Operation Hagar,” which forced the tribe of Sarahin out of the area. Tribe members who collaborated with the IDF were evacuated to the Dimona area, and the others were forced to move to Sinai after their water sources had been seized.

These days, the complex of tents and houses of the Mas’udein el-Azazme tribe is recognized by the State of Israel as a settlement, but without municipal status.


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