Firefighters stop Beit Shemesh blaze

Haredim apparently start fire to protest Barzilai grave relocation.

By JPOST.COM STAFF, ABE SELIG
May 20, 2010 20:13
1 minute read.
Haredim angry in bet shemesh

Haredim angry in bet shemesh 311. (photo credit: Alon Nuriel)

 
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Six firefighting teams worked to put out a raging fire near Ramat Beit Shemesh on Thursday, which was allegedly started by haredim in the area.

The firefighters had to disperse groups of haredim who attempted to disrupt the teams' efforts to control the fire.

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The fire is said to be connected to earlier protests in Jerusalem, where throngs of   haredim protested the removal of the Barzilai graves in Ashkelon.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu recently decided to move the graves in
order to enable the construction of a new emergency room for the Ashkalon hospital. The excavation work that began Saturday night, after talks between the PMO and Atra Kadisha failed to bring forth a compromise, sparked a day of Eda Haredit protests and vandalism around the country.


Jerusalem police reported that a few dozen haredi men had begun throwing rocks at officers during the riots. Police responded by dispersing the men, although in the melee, a police car was attacked and damaged, and a folder containing police documents was stolen from inside.

The police officer who was driving the vehicle sustained injuries to his and hand and was taken for medical treatment. His wallet, police said, which
contained some two hundred shekels, was also stolen, and requests for the men to return the items were refused.

Police eventually dispersed the men, although the stolen items remained at large.

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