A police station's inauguration ceremony, held Wednesday in the ultra-Orthodox
city of Modiin Illit,
experienced some strident tones, after the mayor walked out
over the fact that two female officers were asked to sing.
Mayor Yaakov Gutterman and other religious dignitaries invited to the ceremony, reportedly made a swift exit as the women were taking the stage, remaining in another room in the station for the duration.
Once the singing ended and the ceremony resumed, they returned to the main hall.
A Judea and Samaria Police official was forgiving of the exclusion incident, saying that the choice of singers "was an innocent mistake" – given the nature of the station's location and the crowd attending the ceremony.
Police sources told Ynet that originally, the female officers were supposed to sing several songs during different points in the ceremony. However, once the ceremony began and the crowd's character was realized, the sporadic numbers were cancelled in favor of a succession of songs.
However, the female officers also concluded the ceremony with Hatikvah
national anthem – at which point all of the religious dignitaries left the hall once again.
Mayor Gutterman said nothing of the incident during his speech, and neither did any of the other city officials who addressed the gathering.
A source in City Hall told Ynet that "We really do hope this was nothing more than an innocent oversight, and not the result of malice, or worse – ignorance. The
police should pay more attention to these things."