800 haredim block Jerusalem road, clash with police

Demonstration marks 100 weeks since municipality opened Karta parking lot on Shabbat; mounted police disperse haredim into Mea She'arim.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
July 16, 2011 18:42
1 minute read.
Haredim riot [file photo]

Haredi riot 311 R. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Some 800 orthodox protesters were attempting to block the intersection of Rehov Hanevi'im and Rehov Strauss in Jerusalem Saturday afternoon. Police were dispatched to clear the intersection.

Police said demonstrators were throwing rocks and other objects at officers. Mounted police units managed to disperse many of the protesters into the city's orthodox Mea She'arim neighborhood.

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Earlier Saturday, police said they were preparing for the protest, which was held to mark 100 weeks since Jerusalem's Karta parking lot near Jaffa Gate was opened on Shabbat by the municipality.

Such rallies have been held regularly for two years, but unlike the average weekend demonstration of a few dozen young men, this week activists hoped to draw hundreds or even thousands of members of the anti-Zionist group, due to the announced participation of the head of Rabbi David Kahn, head of the Mea She’arimbased Toldot Aharon hassidic sect.

Last week, an arrest for tax evasion in Mea Sha’arim degenerated into violence when hundreds of ultra Orthodox protesters threw rocks, steel bars, and Molotov cocktails at municipality officials and police.

Five demonstrators were arrested, and six policemen were injured. Five of the policemen were treated on the scene, and one was evacuated to the hospital with a head injury. Police used force to disperse the demonstrators, who protested from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Wednesday.

Melanie Lidman and Jonah Mandel contributed to this report

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