Barzilai unrest spreads as haredim riot in Jerusalem

May 16, 2010 13:59


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Jerusalem police on Sunday morning reported that dozens of haredi men had begun lighting trash bins on fire and blocking roads in and around Shabbat Square in the capital's Mea She'arim neighborhood, in what appeared to be part of the growing response to construction work at Barzilai hospital in Ashkelon, that will see a number of tombs, believed to be of pagan origin, relocated. 

Additionally, overturned trash bins and other debris could be seen scattered in piles on a number of roads throughout the large haredi enclave, and security forces were on the scene, attempting to restore order.

The unrest was associated with a series of similar protests that began sprouting up in other parts of the country on Sunday, as haredi groups have voiced strong opposition to the construction work that started late Saturday night on a new emergency wing at Barzilai Medical Center.
The haredim have expressed concern that the graves are in fact Jewish tombs and that uprooting them would be a severe violation of Jewish law.

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