Haredi rioters clash with police over lockdown enforcement

Rioters reportedly threw rocks at driving vehicles, blocked roads with garbage cans and caused damage to a bus.

Ultra-Orthodox men scuffle with Israeli police as they protest against the coronavirus restrictions in Jerusalem on January 25, 2021.  (photo credit: FLASH90)
Ultra-Orthodox men scuffle with Israeli police as they protest against the coronavirus restrictions in Jerusalem on January 25, 2021.
(photo credit: FLASH90)
Police forces clashed with haredi (ultra-Orthodox) rioters in Mea Shearim in Jerusalem on Tuesday morning, police reported. 
Rioters, opposing police efforts to enforce coronavirus lockdown restrictions, reportedly threw rocks at moving vehicles, blocked roads with garbage dumpsters and caused damage to a bus. 
Police forces were dispatched to the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood and are working to disperse the gathering and restore public order to the area. 
Several rioters were recorded clashing with the officers while trying to prevent them from enforcing lockdown guidelines. 

A water cannon was reportedly deployed to the scene by police as a means of dispersal and eight individuals have been arrested so far. 
 
Later in the day, rioters on the String Bridge in Jerusalem threw rocks at police vehicles, smashing two windshields, but injuring no one. Police have not apprehended the suspects.
Similar riots were also reported Tuesday in Beit Shemesh, with hundreds of participants assaulting police officers by throwing rocks and eggs at them. Three suspects were reportedly detained.  
At the same time, dozens of haredim in Modi'in Illit clashed with police forces who were enforcing the lockdown. According to Israeli media, several rioters tried to block a police vehicle while others violently confronted officers on the scene. 
Ultra-Orthodox groups clashing with police has become a frequent phenomenon in the past few weeks, with violent incidents and attempts to disrupt police in their efforts to enforce lockdown regulations being reported on a near daily basis in Bnei Brak, Ashdod, Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh.  
Earlier this week, ultra-Orthodox protests turned violent across the country. In Bnei Brak, severe riots continued late into Sunday night, fueled by intense opposition of radical elements in the community to Health Ministry closure guidelines.
In Jerusalem's Bar-Ilan Junction on Monday, hundreds of haredi rioters caused damage to road infrastructure and blocked roads, protesting against the construction of light rail routes that are expected to pass through ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods of Jerusalem. 

Jeremy Sharon and Idan Zonshine contributed to this report.