Hundreds of haredim (ultra-Orthodox) clashed with police during protests against the coronavirus lockdown in the Romema neighborhood of Jerusalem on Saturday night.
The protesters attempted to block traffic in the area and push aside checkpoints set up to enforce the lockdown. Rocks and a variety of other objects were thrown at police.
Some 10 suspects have been arrested for disturbing the public order, as of the most recent update from the police, who were still present at the scene late on Saturday night.
Video from the scene published by Channel 12 showed haredim clashing violently with police as police confronted protesters throwing eggs and other objects at them.
While crowding is considered dangerous due to the coronavirus outbreak, a large number of protesters could be seen wearing masks, following at least part of the Health Ministry's coronavirus regulations.
"The pictures from the liberated Tel Aviv and the besieged Jerusalem speak for themselves: Secular people can gather and protest, haredim cannot," said United Torah Judaism MK Yisrael Eichler on Saturday night. "Whoever still thought until today that there are human rights for haredi people in the Land of Israel, were shown the bitter truth again today: A haredi person is a citizen lacking human rights in the Jewish state." 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.
Eichler decried the lockdown placed on haredi communities in Jerusalem, Beitar Illit, Bet Shemesh and other locations. The MK called on the government to cancel the lockdowns, but added that he didn't believe anyone was listening.
"We have long since received the message: There is no democratic government in the Land of Israel. There is a violent and cruel rule: hostile and ruthless."
Eichler called on the haredi ministers to leave the government in order to try and force the government's hand on the issue.
"Maybe this way, someone will suddenly hear the cry of the besieged and remove the decree of lockdowns and police brutality. This is the only language that this government will understand," Eichler said.