Haredi rioters clash with police in Mea She’arim over lockdown

Nine-year-old girl among several injured by police stun grenades

Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) protesters are sprayed with skunk water as they protest a draft bill in Jerusalem, November 28th, 2018 (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) protesters are sprayed with skunk water as they protest a draft bill in Jerusalem, November 28th, 2018
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Dozens of haredi (ultra-Orthodox) rioters took to the streets of Mea She’arim on Thursday night in protest of the lockdown placed on haredi neighborhoods earlier that day by the Health Ministry.
Police said that rioters threw eggs and stones at law enforcement. Videos from the riot showed police forces facing metal bars thrown by the rioters. According to the protesters, the lockdown was discriminating against Israel’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish community.
According to live reports from the riot, several people, including a nine-year-old girl, sustained light wounds from stun grenades used by Israel Police’s Special Patrol Unit.
The police later justified their actions, stating that in order to break up the crowds of people they used special riot dispersing methods, and did not notice the presence of a mother and child “in the eye of the storm.” The little girl got caught up in the scene after being sent by her parents to the market, her father said in an interview with Channel 12.
One of the stun grenades was caught on security cameras and posted on Twitter by Channel 12’s religious affairs correspondent Yair Cherki.
As a result of violence from rioters, three police officers were injured, one of whom was evacuated to a hospital. While reports were filed on the spot against several rioters, 12 others were arrested and taken in for questioning.
The Health Ministry, headed by Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman, set out new coronavirus regulations on Thursday, placing haredi-majority neighborhoods in Jerusalem, as well as Bnei Brak on lockdown. According to the protesters, the lockdown was discriminating against Israel’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish community.
Leading rabbis from Mea She’arim have reportedly called upon the neighborhood’s residents to take the streets.