Violent riots broke out in parts of Beit Shemesh and Jerusalem late Wednesday night, resulting in three people being arrested for disturbing the peace, according to Israel Police.
Israeli media reported that the Jerusalem protests were held by haredi residents in opposition to the continued construction of the city's light rail in ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods. The Beit Shemesh demonstrations were reportedly also haredi-driven and fueled by opposition to the IDF's recruitment of women into its ranks.
The protests in Jerusalem began at the Sarei Yisrael-Malkei Yisrael intersection early in the evening, with trash cans being placed in the road to block traffic and eventually being set on fire. Police arrived on the scene soon afterward and dispersed the demonstrators and reopened the roads to traffic.
Another scuffle broke out a short time later in Jerusalem on Bar-Ilan Street, during which rioters broke into the light rail construction site, damaged property and threw stones and bottles at police.
In Beit Shemesh, police reported hundreds of rioters on Nahar Hayarden Avenue throwing stones and other objects while blocking traffic and burning trash cans. One police officer was lightly injured after being hit by a rock.
Police were able to disperse the rioters and reopen the roads to traffic.
"The Israel Police will continue to act against violent rioters who vandalize, attack police officers and throw rocks at them, harming residents and those using the roads," the police said in a statement responding to the incident.