Violent haredi riots in Jaffa. Five police officers and two news photographers were lightly to moderately injured on Wednesday by stones thrown at them by ultra-Orthodox rioters. The police officers were evacuated for medical treatment.
Large forces were deployed to the area in order to contain the demonstrators, of whom 15 were arrested. Helicopters hovered overhead and roads were blocked off.
Hundreds of haredim have been gathering to protest against excavation works in the town's Andromeda Hill on a daily basis in recent weeks. Wednesday morning was no different, and hundreds arrived at the construction site and called out against the workers there.
The police were prepared for a demonstration, but the haredi protest escalated when hundreds arrived in buses and began to riot, and climb the fence in the area to tear it down.
They also hurled stones and bricks at the police officers in an attempt to deter them.
As a result of the disturbances, five police officers were injured and treated by MDA crews. Many police, horsemen and Border Guards were deployed in the area and part of Yeffet Street was closed to traffic.
Threw stones at police (Photo: Yaron Brener)
Even after the first disturbances, hundreds of protestors remained carrying signs reading, "Criminals, thieves, get your hands off the graves."
Ambulances followed patrol cars on the streets. Tumbled barriers, stones, bricks and bottles lay strewn around like a battlefield. Haredim continued to gather even after being removed from the work site.
It took hours for the police to disperse the protesters and send them back to the buses. Some threw bottles at the police from the bus windows.
Yoav Zitun also contributed to this report