The announcement followed a more cautious experiment of several weeks in which only children in the first, second, and third grades were brought back to classrooms, and taught in small, non-intersecting groups called “capsules.”

Hagai Levine, an epidemiologist at the Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and chairman of the Israeli Association of Public Health Physicians, said: “There was no measurable increase in contagion” while the capsules for young children were being tried out.

The association even offered the government an investigation into school-based infections of COVID-19, but was turned down.

Then, Levine says, “contrary to our advice, the government decided to open the entire system all at once on May 17. What happened next was entirely predictable.”