Rioting haredim try to block Carta lot

Man arrested for lying down under bus in protest over opening of parking garage on Saturdays.

Police remove haredi protesters 248.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Police remove haredi protesters 248.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
For the third straight week, hundreds of haredim protested in central Jerusalem against the opening of the Carta parking lot near the Old City on Saturdays, with no end in sight to the month-old Shabbat dispute. The level of violence at the early-evening protest was similar to that of the previous weekend, police said, and included sporadic stoning of police and passing motorists, as well as repeated attempts to block traffic. Hundreds of haredim shouting "Shabbos" gathered at a central intersection in the city's Mea She'arim neighborhood, and then tried to break through police barriers in the direction of the parking lot opposite Jaffa Gate. Police officers, some dressed in riot gear, shoved them back as they tried to break through a security cordon. There were no injuries reported. Separately, several dozen haredim who reached the Carta lot repeatedly tried to block traffic by sitting in the street. They were dispersed by police who dragged them out of the street. A haredi protester who lay under the wheels of a bus was arrested by police, Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby said. The protests are being organized by the Eda Haredit to protest the desecration of Shabbat caused by the opening of the lot to accommodate weekend visitors to the Old City. The violent haredi protests erupted last month after the city opened the municipal parking lot on Saturdays free of charge. A subsequent decision to open the privately owned garage opposite Jaffa Gate instead has not stilled the violent protests.