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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