For the second night in a row, hundreds of haredim (ultra-Orthodox) protested in the Romema neighborhood, following lockdowns placed on specific neighborhoods by the government due to high coronavirus morbidity rates.
The protests come following an announcement made by the government last week stating that various neighborhoods in cities throughout the country were going to be placed under lockdown due to high rates of infection. The haredim are protesting as they feel they are being unfairly treated by the government and the police.
During protests, haredim and policed clashed. On Saturday, at least 10 suspects were arrested, and videos shown by the Israeli news outlet N12 showed haredim clashing violently with police as they confronted protesters throwing eggs and other objects at them. The protesters additionally managed to block traffic in the area and push aside checkpoints set up to enforce the lockdown.
Similar events took place on Sunday, as once again checkpoints were moved. Portable toilets and trash cans were also burned. Prior to the burning, however, eggs were thrown at police by protesters, as they called the police "antisemitic nazis," Yedidot Ahronot reported. At least two suspects have been arrested.
Police are denying haredi claims of excessive and increased enforcement, in a statement released on Sunday, according to Maariv, The Jerusalem Post's sister publication.
The Police added that they "act with equal enforcement regardless of the sector. It it is clear that the number of tickets given to the haredim is lower by the dozens than those given to the general public."The haredi protests come on the backdrop of protests held in Tel Aviv as tens of thousands gathered to voice their anger at the government's mishandling of the economy and the ensuing financial crisis affecting millions. Following the Tel Aviv protest on Saturday night, United Torah Judaism MK Yisrael Eichler commented on the police conduct of the haredi protests in Jerusalem compared to the secular protests in Tel Aviv. "The pictures from the liberated Tel Aviv and the besieged Jerusalem speak for themselves: Secular people can gather and protest; haredim cannot," he said. "Whoever still thought until today that there are human rights for haredi people in the Land of Israel, was shown the bitter truth again today: A haredi person is a citizen lacking human rights in the Jewish state." However, police confronted protesters in Tel Aviv as well on Saturday night, with 12 suspects arrested for disturbing the public order. Images and video from the scene showed police and protesters violently clashing, with a number of arrests involving force.Tzvi Joffre contributed to this report.