Sixteen ultra-Orthodox protesters were arrested Monday night in Jerusalem, the Israel Police said, as demonstrations against the closure of neighborhoods in the city continued for the third night in a row.
Hundreds of ultra-Orthodox Jews took to the streets to protest a week-long lockdown that took hold last Friday in Romema, Bar-Ilan and other neighborhoods of the capital.
As the demonstration turned violent Monday night, garbage cans were set on fire and protesters hurled abuse at police forces, called officers "Nazis" and tore down barriers erected around areas identified as coronavirus hotspots.
“The deployment continues against the agitators to restore public order,” the police said after a violent protest continued into the late hours of the night.
Many of the neighborhoods affected by the closure are religious, and demonstrators claimed they were unfairly targeted by health officials who refrain from closing off non-Haredi areas that also show an increase in COVID-19 cases.
Earlier Monday, lawmakers and ministers from the Haredi factions in the Knesset voiced similar concerns at a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The chairman of the Knesset Finance Committee, United Torah Judaism MK Moshe Gafni, said he would table a motion to set up a parliamentary commission of inquiry into the decision-making progress at the Health Ministry that resulted in lockdowns on ultra-Orthodox communities.
Yamina MK Bezalel Smotrich of Yamina called for an inquiry into police brutality against ultra-Orthodox protesters, after videos surfaced showing police officers allegedly using excessive force against demonstrators.