Israelis once again took to the streets in Tel Aviv on Saturday night in protest against the government’s Oct. 3 decision to restrict the country’s COVID “Green Pass” to only those who have received a vaccine booster shot or those who have recently recovered from the disease.
“We were thousands again tonight in the streets protesting against the Green Pass … and for our civil rights and our sovereignty,” tweeted Israeli activist Efrat Fenigson.
On Oct. 3, Israel became the first country in the world to require a third vaccine dose as a requirement for its vaccination passport, without which indoor venues cannot be entered and access to certain public venues is restricted. The move meant that some 2 million Israelis’ Green Passes were rendered invalid.
“More than 2 million people who have already been vaccinated twice have not taken the booster [shot] … and will be deprived of their basic human rights,” tweeted Fenigson.
Under the new criteria, those who have received two vaccine doses, and those who have recovered from coronavirus, were issued passes valid for six months from the date of their vaccination or recovery.
After the new rules went into effect, there were protest demonstrations at several locations across the country. Opponents of the new, stricter criteria claim that they amount to a forced vaccination program.
Israel began an aggressive campaign on Aug. 29 to encourage Israelis to get a vaccine booster shot, announcing all citizens age 12 and above would be eligible. More than 3.7 million have since received the booster, according to Israel’s Health Ministry.