Ashkelon protest, Sunday
Photo: Tsafrir Abayov
Israel Antiquities Authority workers on Sunday finished digging up most of the graves at the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon and have yet to find any Jewish tombs in the area.
The excavation works were expected to be completed on Sunday night.
The IAA findings revealed that all the graves dug up by Sunday evening belonged to pagans. The ruling was based on the type of burial and burial stones.
Bulldozers, tractors arrive at Barzilai Hospital around midnight for relocation of ancient graves underway on Sunday. Netanyahu: Cabinet acts in favor of public welfare. Litzman calls move 'foolish'
Police forced remained on high alert near the southern hospital and at all entrances to Ashkelon. A number of ultra-Orthodox men were stopped while trying to enter the medical center.
The Ashdod Police prevented some 20 haredi men from renting a boat and sailing to the Ashkelon marina in order to protest the graves' relocation. The men were taken off the boat and asked to return to their homes.
A total of 47 haredim were arrested throughout the day while rioting in protest of the excavation. Seventeen of them were brought before the Kiryat Gat Magistrate's Court for a remand hearing, but refused to face the judge and began singing.
At the same time, haredi men protested at the Andromeda Hill area in Jaffa against infrastructure work taking place there. According to the police, 40 people were detained for questioning on suspicion of holding an illegal protest, rioting and assaulting policemen.