Amid rising infections, Israeli ultra-Orthodox defy lockdown

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Israel’s ultra-Orthodox Jews make up roughly 10% of the population, yet account for over one-third of the country’s coronavirus patients. Segments of the community refuse to comply with safety regulations and insist on maintaining a tight-knit way of life. The violations of Israel’s lockdown rules by segments of the ultra-Orthodox population have confounded public health experts and tested Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s longstanding political alliance with religious leaders. They also have triggered resentment in the country’s secular population, who fear that ultra-Orthodox community’s political clout is threatening public health and livelihoods. The ultra-Orthodox claim they are being unfairly targeted by the authorities.