Scene of motorcycle accident last week
Photo: Channel 24

Haredim block Jerusalem road

Protests against excavation of ancient graves in Jaffa continue despite rabbis' recent prohibition

More than 100 haredim blocked Bar Ilan road in Jerusalem on Monday with a large garbage container in protest of the construction on Andromeda Hill in Jaffa, which they claim is damaging ancient graves.


Shortly after, police officers managed to restore order and open the road to traffic.


In a separate incident, haredim set fire to three garbage bins in Jerusalem's Meah Shearim neighborhood.


Monday's protest came despite a decision of Eda Haredit leaders last week to prohibit community members from holding violent demonstrations against the excavations.


The decision was reached in an emergency meeting held by rabbis of the Orthodox Righteous Court of Law, after two motorcycle riders were injured by a garbage container rolled on to a road in Jerusalem.


As part of the decision, the rabbis said they would appoint supervisors from the community to enforce the new directive, and consider various punishments, including handing offenders to the police.


A source in the Eda Haredit told Ynet that each case will be brought before a commission of rabbis, and noted a long list of sanctions that can be employed – among them the removal of family members from the community's education institutions, promulgating offenders' names, etc.


However, in order to show that the community's stance vis-à-vis the excavations has not changed, the source said that protests against the desecration of graves will continue as usual at the construction site in Jaffa.


On Sunday, hundreds of haredim arrived at the construction site in Jaffa to protest the excavation work. MK Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism) accompanied the protesters and said, "I have a suspicion that there has been a recent barbaric and severe attack against graves in Israel, and we will do anything to stop this."


פרסום ראשון: 07.12.10, 23:57
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