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Haredim clash with police in Jerusalem (archives) Photo: Gil Yohanan
Haredim clash with police in Jerusalem (archives) Photo: Gil Yohanan
 
 

Haredim riot over archaeological dig

Border Guard officer injured as ultra-Orthodox protest excavation at Jewish burial cave found in Tzippori

Efrat Weiss
Published: 03.07.10, 15:28 / Israel News

A Border Guard officer was lightly wounded Sunday and damage was done to a military vehicle by haredim who rioted in the neighborhood of Mea Shearim in Jerusalem.

 

Residents of the neighborhood turned violent because of an archaeological dig taking place in the northern site of Tzippori. Four ultra-Orthodox men were arrested on suspicion they planned to travel there in order to interfere with the dig.

  

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At 10:30 am haredim began to throw stones at a Border Guard jeep in Jerusalem. One officer was injured by the stones and evacuated to the hospital.

 

Three hours later haredim threw stones at vehicles and buses in Mea Shearim and Yehezkel Street. A military vehicle sustained damage, prompting police to shut down roads and public transportation leading to the neighborhood, but no one has been arrested.

 

The conflict was ignited when a man decided to build on land he acquired in Tzippori, which had been found to contain archaeological findings. The man was ordered by the Antiquities Authority to allow a dig, which uncovered an ancient Jewish burial cave.

 

The authority notified the police and the Ministry of Religious Affairs of its findings and said it planned to dig further in order to document them.

 

But large groups of haredim have been arriving to protest at the site for the past few days, fearing the graves may be damaged. Four were arrested, and others were prevented from entering the area. The dig began Sunday morning, with large police forces securing the group of scientists.

 

Sharon Roffe-Ofir contributed to this report

 

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