Haredi Intel protest markedly smaller

Haredi Intel protest mar

intel haredi protest 248 88 ap (photo credit: AP)
intel haredi protest 248 88 ap
(photo credit: AP)
Police prevented several dozen haredi protesters from approaching Intel's Har Hotzvim offices on Saturday. Policemen set up a roadblock on the way to the facility. The demonstrators did not behave violently, but showered law enforcers with cries of "Shabbes" and "Nazis." Demonstrations have become a weekly occurrence due to the company's operation of its Jerusalem microchip factory on Shabbat. But the number of demonstrators this time was much smaller than in previous weeks, due to an agreement by most haredi groups to move the protests to a weekday. On Friday some forty haredim arrived to protest in front of the offices. Police forces were deployed at the scene and no violations of the order were reported. Rabbi Yosef Rosenfeld, a member of the Council for the Protection of the Sanctity of Shabbat, said Thursday that while no agreement has been signed between Intel and the haredi community, negotiations are still ongoing. The recent Shabbat unrest began two weeks ago, when haredi leaders announced that they would oppose the opening of a new microchip plant at Intel's offices in the Har Hotzvim industrial park, since the company would be employing Jewish workers on Shabbat. The first protest, which was held the following Saturday afternoon, drew a crowd of some 1,500 haredim and became increasingly violent as they threw rocks at police and dealt blows to journalists covering the event. Last week's protest was smaller in size, and markedly more docile. However, both city and Intel officials are keeping a close eye on the situation, wary that it could again spin out of control. Abe Selig contributed to this report.