Jerusalem: Police arrest 6 at haredi protests

Police disperse hundreds hurling rocks, chanting slogans to protest parking lot opening on Shabbat.

Police remove haredi protesters 248.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Police remove haredi protesters 248.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Hurling rocks and chanting slogans, hundreds of haredi protesters took part in demonstrations on Saturday evening against the opening of a parking lot opposite the Old City, in what has become a weekly confrontation over Shabbat observance in the capital. Six people were arrested as protesters clashed with police at both the parking lot and on Bar Ilan Street in the capital's Mea Sharim neighborhood, where protesters had originally congregated with the intent of marching towards the lot. Police arrived at the scene and prevented many of the protesters from moving forward, yet others slipped past and made their way towards the parking lot, where they attempted to block traffic. Police arrived at the parking lot as well, where the arrests were made, but protesters back in Mea Sharim continued to throw rocks and other debris at police and passing vehicles, lightly injuring one passerby. By 9 p.m., police said the demonstrations had concluded and order had been restored. Last week, a group of some 200 haredi protesters attempted to storm the parking lot compound but were repelled by police officers at the scene. Other protesters blocked a nearby road. In previous weeks, protests have included the sporadic stoning of police and passing motorists, as well as repeated attempts to block traffic. The protests erupted in June, after the city opened a municipal parking lot near City Hall on Saturdays free of charge. A subsequent decision to open the privately owned garage opposite Jaffa Gate instead has not stilled the violence. staff contributed to this report