J'lem: Haredi injured in parking lot protest
After mass prayer at controversial parking lot, ultra-Orthodox demonstrators throw themselves on road in attempt to block traffic in protest of Shabbat desecration. One man lies down under car stopped at traffic light, is dragged several meters when car begins to move, evacuated to hospital in moderate condition
A 20-year-old ultra-Orthodox man demonstrating against the opening of the Karta parking lot in Jerusalem on Shabbat was moderately injured on Friday after lying under the wheels of a car in protest of the desecration of Shabbat.
The car was stopped at a traffic light, and when the driver began to move, the haredi man was dragged several meters. He was evacuated to hospital, and the driver fled the scene.
The incident occurred shortly after the conclusion of Shabbat prayers. Hundreds of ultra-Orthodox held a mass prayer near the entrance to the controversial parking lot, as part of their ongoing protest against its opening on Shabbat.
At the end of the prayer, several of the protesters began to riot, and some of them threw themselves on the road of Hativat Yerushalayim Street in an attempt to prevent cars from driving.
The 20-year-old decided to lie under a car stopped at a traffic light nearby. When the light turned green, the car began to move, dragging the man behind it. The vehicle stopped several meters later, and after the man managed to free himself from its grip, the driver fled the scene.
A Magen David Adom crew called to the scene treated the man, and evacuated him to hospital in moderate condition.
Police launched an investigation into the incident, but it remained unclear whether the driver was aware that there was someone lying under the vehicle and drove off intentionally, or innocently did not notice.
Police barriers were stationed around the area in hopes of tracking the vehicle down. The rest of the protesters in the area were escorted back to the Mea Shearim neighborhood in the city.
On Friday, police prepared for Saturday's weekly protest at the parking lot.
Commissioner Dudi Cohen said part of the officers that were stationed at the Temple Mount for the Muslim Friday prayers will also be deployed around the Karta parking long and haredi neighborhoods on Saturday.
"The Jerusalem Police have been dealing with the haredi protests for 10 weeks now. The Jerusalem Police have managed to handle the protests nicely while maintaining restraint and sensitivity in dealing with the haredi community," Cohen said.