Shabbat war escalates: A man of about 20 fell off a fence and sustained serious wounds during an ultra-Orthodox protest in Jerusalem Saturday. A six-year-old boy and five police officers were also wounded in violent riots in the capital during the day.
However, by nighttime a vehicle equipped with a public address system was traveling through Jerusalem's haredi neighborhoods on behalf of the ultra-Orthodox sect and urging protestors, upset over the opening of a municipal parking lot on Shabbat, to end the riots.
Violent day in Jerusalem (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
Meanwhile, a senior Jerusalem Police official told Ynet that officers "had no connection to the injury suffered by the young Orthodox man at the protest this evening."
The police official said the man fell off a fence during an illegal Orthodox demonstration.
"We condemn and denounce the haredi riots, and we stress that the police will continue to firmly respond to lawbreakers, arrest them, and bring them to justice," he said.
At least 57 haredim detainedRabbi Yitzhak Goldknopf of the Council for the Sanctity of the Shabbat told Ynet Saturday evening that "we got the most out of the mission we took upon ourselves, as tens of thousands of residents went out to protest the trampling of the Shabbat's sanctity."
The rabbi stressed that leaders of the struggle are not assuming responsibility for Saturday's riots, but rather, only for a mass rally Friday, noting that the Shabbat violence "is not our way." He added that the Council will continue to address the issue, but said community leaders will decide whether to continue the ferocious protests next Saturday.
During the evening, police officers arrested at least 57 haredi protestors across Jerusalem. Most detainees were nabbed at the entrance to the ultra-Orthodox Mea Shearim neighborhood in the capital. Hundreds of rioters hurled stones, cans, glass battles and fruit at police while chanting "Shabbes." Later in the evening, protestors burned garbage dumpsters in the city.
Earlier in the day, roughly 1,000 secular residents also hit the streets, to protest what they referred to as "ultra-Orthodox bullying" in the capital.