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Last week's haredi riots in J'lem Photo: AP
Last week's haredi riots in J'lem Photo: AP
 
 

Jerusalem: Haredi riots continue

Tensions still high in capital: Injuries reported after haredi rioters hurl stones at vehicles travelling on Jerusalem's Bar Ilan Street; earlier, ultra-Orthodox protestors stone cars, damage traffic lights in city

Efrat Weiss
Latest Update: 07.18.09, 18:01 / Israel News

At least four people were lightly injured by stone-throwing ultra-Orthodox rioters targeting vehicles traveling on Jerusalem's Bar-Ilan Street. Two of the wounded reportedly suffered head wounds.

 

Police forces and Magen David Adom medical teams were rushed to the scene, but the rioters were able to escape before police arrived.

 

Meanwhile, about 50 seculars initiated a protest watch titled 'Violence-Free Jerusalem' at Paris Square in the capital. The demonstrators are protesting the haredi violence in Jerusalem over the past few weeks.

 

Bar-Ilan Street Saturday afternoon (Photo: Gil Yohanan)

 

Knesset Member Nitzan Horowitz, who organized the protest, said: "Seeing as no minister, Rabbi or political party has said anything, we are here to say that the madness in Jerusalem must stop. Everyone is afraid because of the politics, violence and threats."

 

Horowitz said that the secular protest will continue every weekend should haredi riots go on.

 

"This recklessness and rioting, as we see threats against doctors, 'SS' chants, and attacks on municipal workers who serve these neighborhoods, must not be met with silence," he said. "I view this as a test to the rule of law; a test to the character of an enlightened state."

 

Violence in the capital renewed Friday night, despite the release to house arrest of an ultra-Orthodox mother said to have starved her son. In one incident, haredim hurled stones at passing vehicles on Bar-Ilan Street. One ultra-Orthodox man sustained head wounds after being hurt by a stone; he received medical treatment at the site of the incident. 

 

In addition, rioters continued to cause damage to property by breaking traffic lights in the area.

 

After the mother was put on house arrest, tensions in that aspect subsided, and the rioters' attention was once again focused on the opening of the Karta parking lot in the city on Shabbat.

 

Saturday morning, 10 ultra-Orthodox arrived at the parking lot to protest, and one protester lay down on the ground at the entrance and was evacuated by police. The other protesters were also ordered to clear out. No one was injured in the incident.

 

Police prepare for more riots

Police have been preparing for riots against the opening of the parking lot that were expected to renew Saturday afternoon.

 

The security forces, including police, Border Guard officers, mounted forces and water cannons to scatter protesters, were deployed in an effort to prevent the haredim from leaving their neighborhoods.

 

Damage caused from recent riots is still noticeable in the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Meah Shearim, where broken traffic lights and torched trash cans have can be found. Police plan to keep an extra close watch on these areas.

 

The decision to release the mother suspected of child abuse on house arrest was made on Friday, despite the prosecution's plans to indict her.

 

Judge Shulamit Dotan released the woman into the custody of haredi lobbyist Avraham Froelich.  

 

Deputy Health Minister Yakov Litzman and Froelich posted the suspect's bail in the amount of NIS 400,000 ($102,700).

 

The suspect will undergo a psychiatric examination and will have another hearing next Thursday.

 

Ronen Medzini contributed to the story

 

First Published: 07.18.09, 12:39

 

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