Barkat. Considering alternatives
Photo: Dudi Vaaknin
Saturday's riots in Jerusalem
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Jerusalem District Chief Franco
Photo: Moshe Wigenfeld

Barkat considers giving in on parking issue

Haredim say police asked Jerusalem mayor to close Safra lot on Saturdays while considering alternatives

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said Thursday he would consider an appeal to keep a major parking lot closed on Saturdays, despite previous declarations that he would not succumb to pressure applied by the ultra-Orthodox community on the matter.


The appeal was made by Jerusalem District Police Chief Aharon Franco, who had also been in favor of the keeping the Safra parking lot open. Ultra-Orthodox sources say he is now attempting to cause Barkat to repeal his decision due to the riots that took place over the issue on Saturday.


The Jerusalem Municipality stated in response that "following the negotiations and continuous talks between the sides, Jerusalem's district police chief appealed to the mayor and the haredim with a request to find alternatives that would decrease the conflict in Jerusalem".


The statement added that Franco had asked the mayor to consider closing the Safra parking lot with the aim of finding an alternative within two weeks. "The mayor is currently considering the appeal," it said.


Meanwhile ultra-Orthodox leaders said police had announced the Safra lot would remain closed. Rabbi Yosef Rosenfeld, head of the Committee for Sanctity of Shabbat, said Franco had promised to recommend this to the mayor.


Barkat met with leaders of the ultra-Orthodox community Wednesday night in an attempt to find a solution, but the meeting ended inconclusively. The sides are scheduled to meet again on Thursday.


Kobi Nahshoni contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 06.11.09, 22:37
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