In an significant step, members of the extremist ultra-Orthodox Neturei Karta appealed to the Israel police for the first time to stop Egged buses from entering the Mea Shearim neighborhood in Jerusalem. Late on Sunday night, five haredim were arrested when they tried to block the entrance of a bus.
Buses returned to Mea Shearim one month ago after 18 months of Egged not servicing the neighborhood due to violence against the drivers and passengers, who were angry that the buses were not separated by gender. Separating buses by gender is illegal according to the High Court of Justice. In the letter to Police Chief Yohanan Danino, members of Neturei Karta asked the police to assist them in stopping buses from entering their neighborhood, according to Channel 2. The letter is significant because Neturei Karta does not recognize the State of Israel or any authorities.
In the letter, they claimed that buses create smoke and air pollution, and pose a danger to their children on the narrow streets of the neighborhood. Last week, during a demonstration against the buses, a man overturned his stroller with his toddler still inside in order to protest the danger for the neighborhood kids.