Hundreds of haredim riot in Jaffa

Rioters say archaeological dig violates graves, 5 policemen injured.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
June 16, 2010 13:01
1 minute read.
Haredi riots in Jaffa

Haredi riots in Jaffa 311. (photo credit: Associated Press)

Hundreds of haredim were involved in violent riots in Jaffa on Wednesday, in Rehov Louis Pasteur around the site of an archeological dig. 

The haredim maintain that the works desecrate the sanctity of ancient bones at the site. Rabbi Tuvia Weiss, the senior rabbinic leader of the Eda Haredit Badatz (rabbinical court), was on the scene to encourage the protesters and lead a prayer against those working at the site.

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Police said the demonstration was illegal, that they were attacked with bricks and rocks and that the demonstrators set fire to trash cans. There were attempts to knock policemen from their horses and five policemen were reported injured.

The demonstrators broke into the old Jewish cemetery, which is close to the site of the dig.
Louis Pasteur and Yefet Street are closed to traffic.

A couple of days ago, two hundred haredim protested near the site and three demonstrators were arrested.  Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) reported that vandals had ransacked an archaeological excavation of buildings from the late-Ottoman period in Jaffa on Sunday night.

"The damage done to these impressive buildings from the late Ottoman era is irreversible," said Dr. Yoav Arbel, director of the excavation.
The archaeological dig is taking place before the construction of a high-rise building.

Haredim have demonstrated against archaeological digs in the area several times because of their opposition to disturbing Jewish graves on the site. 


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