Will police forces have an easy night?
Photo: Gil Yohanan

Haredim: No violence expected

Orthodox residents say Shabbat protestors in capital to heed rabbis' calls, refrain from staging violent riots. Earlier, four people sustain injuries as haredim stone cars on Jerusalem street; seculars stage counter-protest

Quiet night in capital? Tensions were high again in Jerusalem Saturday, but ultra-Orthodox residents said Shabbat protests in the capital will not feature the violence seen in recent weeks.


According to residents, rabbis of the ultra-Orthodox Eda Haredit sect called on residents to engage in a prayer session at Jerusalem's Shabbat Square but refrain from staging violent protests.


Haredim demonstrators have rioted in Jerusalem on Saturdays earlier this month to protest the opening of a municipal parking lot on Shabbat.


Hoping for a quiet night (Photo: Gil Yohanan)


Despite the rabbis' calls, dozens of Orthodox children gathered at a square near the haredi Mea Shearin neighborhood and yelled at police officers deployed at the site. Security forces blocked the entrance to the street and prevented people from leaving or coming in.


Earlier, 10 haredi protestors arrived at the disputed Karta parking lot and attempted to block its entrance, with one demonstrator lying down on the ground near the entrance before being removed by police. No injuries were reported in the incident.


4 hurt in haredi riots

However, at least four people were lightly injured in a separate incident, as stone-throwing ultra-Orthodox rioters targeted vehicles traveling on Jerusalem's Bar-Ilan Street earlier Saturday. Two of the wounded reportedly suffered head wounds.


Police forces and Magen David Adom medical teams were rushed to the scene, but the rioters were able to escape before police arrived.


Elsewhere, about 50 seculars initiated a protest watch titled 'Violence-Free Jerusalem' at Paris Square in the capital. The demonstrators gathered to protest the haredi violence in Jerusalem over the past few weeks.


Knesset Member Nitzan Horowitz, who organized the protest, said: "Seeing as no minister, Rabbi or political party has said anything, we are here to say that the madness in Jerusalem must stop. Everyone is afraid because of the politics, violence and threats."


Efrat Weiss contributed to the story


פרסום ראשון: 07.18.09, 19:56
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