Several haredim reportedly attacked a taxi driver in Shabbat Square in Jerusalem in the early hours of Wednesday morning. No arrests were made, but police have launched an investigation.
Around 2am, haredim used two garbage cans to block one of the roads near Shabbat Square in the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Mea She'arim. A taxi driver passing through the area was attacked, and his windshield was smashed.
The driver managed to escape the attack, found a police cruiser and told officers he was attacked by ultra-Orthodox people with stones.
He stressed he was in no need of medical treatment, and refrained from filing a complaint. Nonetheless, police decided to open an investigation into the incident, and efforts are being made to locate the perpetrators.
Cab that was attacked (Photo: Zvika Stern, haredim.co.il)
An eyewitness at the scene phoned emergency services and reported the incident. Police denied the witness' claims that he was told by the dispatcher that the police had been ordered not to enter the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood.
The Jerusalem Police reported that they were examining the recording of the phone call, but stressed that "at no point was it said that the police was not going in or would not go in."
Police believe that the overnight riot was in protest of the arrest of several haredim over the weekend, following their demonstrations against the opening of the city's Karta parking lot on Shabbat.
Haredi riots in the capital have become something of a routine in recent weeks. Besides the ongoing battle against the opening of the parking lot, some members of the ultra-Orthodox community have also been rioting in protest of the arrest of a local mother accused of starving her three-year-old son.
Riots also broke out recently following the haredim's objection to police carrying out an autopsy on a man that was murdered in a hostel in the Geula neighborhood in the city.
Police have begun taking a firmer stance against the rioters, and in recent days have used stun grenades and tear gas against demonstrators. Several police officers and haredim were injured in the past weeks' riots, as well as civilian passersby.
A number of vehicles were also damaged in the turmoil.