רכב של פיקוד העורף שהותקף בשכונת מאה שערים בירושלים
The scene of the attack in Mea She'arim
The scene of the attack in Mea She'arim

Haredi hardliners attack IDF troops distributing food in Jerusalem neighborhood

Police officers evacuate the soldiers from incident in Mea Shearim, condemned by army chief as 'violent, criminal act'; public security minister orders internal probe into previous clash in area that left young girl wounded by stun grenade

Gilad Cohen |
Published: 04.21.20 , 22:36
Members of an extreme Haredi sect threw rocks at a group of IDF soldiers distributing food in the ultra-Orthodox Mea She'arim neighborhood of Jerusalem on Tuesday evening.
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  • No troops were injured, though damage was caused to their car. The military said the police were investigating the incident.
    רכב של פיקוד העורף שהותקף בשכונת מאה שערים בירושליםרכב של פיקוד העורף שהותקף בשכונת מאה שערים בירושלים
    The scene of the attack in Mea She'arim
    In a statement, IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi denounced the attack on the troops.
    “This was a violent, criminal act, which deserves total condemnation,' he said.
    "The fact that IDF soldiers who were assisting the local government and citizens to distribute food were violently attacked by residents of Mea Shearim is very serious and demands denunciation, thorough handling and soul-searching,” Kochavi said.
    “The IDF will continue to assist in the national effort as much as is asked,” he said.
    הרכב שהותקף בשכונת מאה שעריםהרכב שהותקף בשכונת מאה שערים
    The damaged IDF vehicle following an attack Haredi extremists in Jerusalem
    (Photo: Israel Police)
    Last Thursday night, hardline residents of the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood also hurled objects at police forces, who responded by throwing stun grenades, one of which wounded a nine-year-old girl passing by.
    Approximately 100 people demonstrated against the ban on communal prayers and restrictions on mikveh ritual baths amid the coronavirus pandemic.
    Police said in a statement that 12 people were arrested and that officers “did not notice the presence of the mother and child in the eye of the storm,” while dispersing the rioters.
    Three officers were injured during the riots, police said, with one requiring hospital treatment.
    Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan on Tuesday ordered the police officers involved to be investigated by the force's Internal Investigations Department.
    Health Minister Yaakov Litzman, who heads the ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism party, condemned the attacks on police as “contrary to the law and to Halachah,” but also spoke out against the police actions.
    “We must prevent wild police behavior, excessive use of force and throwing stun grenades in densely populated neighborhoods full of small children,” he said.
    Such actions, he said, “endanger human lives, create hate and contribute to the erosion of public order.”


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