haredi damaged vehicle 311.
(photo credit: (Eli Vanunu)
A woman was injured in Beit Shemesh when she was attacked by ultra-Orthodox men
while hanging up posters for the Mifal Hapayis national lottery on
RELATED:'Haredi attack on girl nauseating, disgusting’ Peres condemns extremist violence in Beit Shemesh
According to police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, Natalie Mashiach,
27, was accosted by several men in the ultra-Orthodox Ramat Beit Shemesh Bet
neighborhood, who demanded that she leave the area.
They surrounded her
car and pelted it with stones, smashing several windows, and punctured her
tires. One stone struck Mashiach on the head, lightly injuring her.
was afraid for my life. I thought I was going to die,” she said.
came right up to my face and spat at me, so I went back to the car and called
the police,” she told the press after the incident.
She had called the
police who told her to wait where she was, but while they were on their way to
her, 10 young men approached her car, smashed the windows and threw bleach at
her, she said. “Fifty, maybe 100 people were watching and pleaded with them to
let me leave, but then they threw this liquid on me, which only afterwards I
realized was bleach, and I thought they were going to set me on fire, and that
this was it. I was going to die.”
Police arrived quickly, dispersed the
crowd and arrested three men.
Mayor Moshe Abutbul said, “I again condemn
violence of any kind carried out by extremist elements from both sides, and call
on the police to enforce the law with severity and with zero tolerance for those
breaking the law and disturbing public order.”
Rabbi Dov Lipman, head of
the Committee to Save Beit Shemesh that lobbies against ultra-Orthodox extremism
in the city, said Abutbol’s comments are “part of the problem.”
woman is attacked in this way, condemnation must be unconditional,” he said. “He
is trying to minimize the extent of haredi extremism in Beit Shemesh when he
should be conducting all-night sessions to work out how to solve the
According to several haredi websites, Mashiach went into the
foyer of a synagogue to hang flyers but behaved immodestly when asked to
Lipman said that he had spoken to an ultra-Orthodox witness who
denied this version of events and said that Mashiach was outside the synagogue
when she was attacked.
Lipman added, “I applaud the police for arresting
suspects immediately and for promising more arrests.
There is no doubt
that the police force has been more aggressive since we began our campaign to
save the city and since a new chief took over two weeks ago.”