Israeli man suspected of falsely forcing ex-girlfriend to quarantine four times: Police

JERUSALEM (AFP) – An Israeli working for the Health Ministry is being investigated on suspicion of falsely forcing his ex-girlfriend into coronavirus quarantine four times without medical justification, police said on Thursday (Jan 14).

The man, identified only as a 35-year-old resident of northern Israel, is suspected of various offences committed over several months, including misuse of power of office, fraud, violation of privacy and false imprisonment, a police statement said.

The suspect “sent on four separate occasions messages to his ex-girlfriend’s phone about her immediate need to enter isolation due to exposure to a confirmed coronavirus patient, without her actually being exposed to such a person”, police said.

Evidence on the suspect, described as “an external employee working at one of the Health Ministry’s call centres”, has been handed to the Justice Ministry ahead of a possible indictment, police said.

The investigation began when the Health Ministry became suspicious of the same person filing appeals against her isolation in four separate instances.

There are currently over 180,000 Israelis in isolation over feared exposure to Covid-19, with nearly two million having faced the two-week confinement since the beginning of the pandemic.

Israel, currently in its third national lockdown, has recorded nearly 524,000 Covid-19 cases, more than 3,800 of them fatal.

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