Extremist haredi men stone police on coronavirus enforcement patrols

‘Majority of businesses in the neighborhood were observing social-distancing orders,’ police note following patrols

An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man walks with his children on a street in Jerusalem's Mea Shearim neighbourhood September 24, 2015. (photo credit: REUTERS)
An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man walks with his children on a street in Jerusalem's Mea Shearim neighbourhood September 24, 2015.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Officers on patrol in Mea She’arim to enforce the social-distancing orders issued due to the coronavirus pandemic encountered violent resistance by large numbers of ultra-Orthodox extremists.
In one incident in the radical haredi Jerusalem neighborhood, two men were detained for throwing stones at police officers, one of whom was hit and injured. The officer was treated for his wounds at the scene.
Large numbers of men also blocked police vehicles and protested against the police presence in the neighborhood, with calls of “Nazis” made by extremists against the officers.
The police noted in a statement however that the majority of shops, food outlets and other businesses in the neighborhood were observing the social-distancing orders.
Mea She’arim and its surrounding neighborhoods are home to several extremist ultra-Orthodox communities, many of which predate the Zionist movement, which reject the authority of the state on ideological and religious grounds.
Many of these communities have refused to adhere to Health Ministry and Education Ministry instructions, which became orders over the weekend, to shut down educational institutions and practice social distancing, including avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people.
The police on Sunday afternoon increased its enforcement efforts in these communities and conducted a patrol of these neighborhoods to ensure businesses owners were complying with the Health Ministry instructions.
During their patrols, police detained three people who were among a gathering of more than 10 people and who refused to disperse and disturbed the public order.
They were each fined NIS 5,000.
According to a statement issued by the police, 47 fines have been issued so far, the majority of which were for refusing to disperse from a gathering of more than 10 people.
Eighteen businesses have been issued with lockdown orders for “gross violation” of the orders.


Tags Haredi police