Anti-gay pride protest turns violent

7 police officers wounded, 13 haredim jailed after rioters pelt police with stones.

gay 298.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
gay 298.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Thousands of haredim demonstrated in Jerusalem Sunday against this week's planned gay parade in the city in a mostly peaceful protest which ended in violence. The evening protest was marked both by its surprisingly low turnout - estimated by police to be around 10,000 people - and relative calm for such a heated issue. The relatively small number of protesters represented stunning defeat for the haredi organizers of the protest, who had expected as many as 100,000 people to turn out in force, and reflected the differences of opinion in the haredi world whether clashes with police at the event would serve their cause, with some Rabbis pointedly ordering their students to stay away from the event. Anticipating a much larger crowd, over 1,000 police officers were out in force for the evening protest, with nearby streets closed off to traffic. The end of the protest was marred by violence when dozens of haredi protesters pelted police with stones, lightly injuring a policewoman in the head. She was evacuated to a Jerusalem hospital for treatment. Six policemen were subsequently injured in the stone throwing, and were treated by medics on the scene. The demonstrators, who also set trash bins on fire on a central city thoroughfare, were dispersed by police. Two dozen protesters were arrested on the scene, 13 of whom were jailed.