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Jerusalem: Orthodox riot against pride parade, again
Another night of protests in the capital: Some hundred Orthodox burn trash cans, block streets in Mea Shearim. Police forced to rescue taxi, bus. Jerusalem police chief consults on legal possibilities of cancelling Jerusalem parade
As the date of the gay pride parade in Jerusalem nears, on Wednesday evening dozens of members of the Orthodox sector took to the capital’s streets once again in protest of the event. Police had to escort a bus out of the area and detained two people on suspicion of attacking a taxi driver from the scene.

 

Meanwhile, the Jerusalem District police chief held consultations will state legal experts on the matter of the parade in order to examine the possibility of cancelling it.

 

A little before 9:00 p.m., some 100 Orthodox congregated in the streets of Mea Shearim, set fire to trash cans and blocked traffic. An city bus driving through the area had to be rescued by police forces. No one was hurt.

 

The protestors continued to block the street for roughly an hour and occasionally threw stones at police officers stationed at the intersections to keep an eye on the events. A cab driver driving through the area was attacked by the demonstrators and police forces had to rescue him as well. He was unharmed.

 

This was the second night in a row in which the Orthodox community protested in Jerusalem against the upcoming gay pride parade, slated to take place on November 10. Earlier Wednesday, police released eight people detained during protests Tuesday and issued restraining orders barring them from entering Jerusalem for 15 days. Six more Orthodox under arrest were kept under police custody.

 

Police consider possibility of cancelling parade

Meanwhile, Jerusalem Police District Commander Ilan Franco consulted with top legal experts in the State Attorney’s Office. The meeting was held at the Justice Ministry and lasted two hours. Legal issues surrounding the parade were raised during the meeting, and the legal repercussions of cancelling the parade, or changing its parameters, were examined. No decisions were yet made.

 

Jerusalem police have not yet issued a permit for the parade, and is meant to do so is the next few days. With that, a senior police source told Ynet that the pride parade would take place as planned.

 

“As of right not, we can’t say that we aren’t authorizing the parade,” the police source said. “If the information in our hands changes, the Jerusalem district police chief will tell the High Court of Justice that the police are not approved the parade in its current form – and will allow it to be held in a closed space or in a different city.”

 

During the day Wednesday, Yaakov Edery, Minister of Jerusalem Affairs, appealed to Franco in a letter asked that he reconsider the Jerusalem parade, or alternately have it held elsewhere in order to avoid violence and rioting.

 

Aviram Zino contributed to the report

 

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