Tens of thousands rally in Bnei Brak

J'lem haredim also protest High Court decision on Emmanuel parents.

Haredi riots in Jaffa 311 (photo credit: Associated Press)
Haredi riots in Jaffa 311
(photo credit: Associated Press)
Tens of thousands of haredim in Bnei Barak demonstrated Thursday against the High Court decision to imprison haredi parents from Emmanuel for contempt of court, following a series of refusals to implement court decisions.
Similar demonstrations were being held in Jerusalem.
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'This is a religious war'Parents of girls from the Beit Ya'akov school in Emmanuel were due to enter prison at 1 p.m. In a last-minute attempt to prevent the incarceration of 86 Emmanuel parents of the Slonim Hassidut, Noar Kahalacha requested of the High Court of Justice to put off the implementation of the court order till Sunday, so that the sides might be able to reach a compromise.
Noar Kahalacha is the NGO headed by Yoav Laloum, that filed the 2008 petition against the segregation in the Emmanuel Beit Ya'akov school for girls.
Some 10,000 police officers were on alert in preparation for haredi demonstrations against the ruling, and 
Police Insp.-Gen. David Cohen was touring a number of areas in Jerusalem prone to demonstrations and disturbances by members of the haredi community.
He was expected to arrive at the Russian Compound, where the haredi parents have been ordered to appear.
Ambulance services were also on alert.
Prison officials said that special arrangements had been made at both men and women's prisons to create conditions that would enable the haredi parents  to maintain their orthodox lifestyle.
The court has ruled that parents who refused to return their daughters to the re-united school would be imprisoned on Thursday for two weeks for contempt of the court.
The court said that the imprisonment of one parent could be postponed till the release of the other, in order to ensure the welfare of the children, but only in the cases in which the parents would file such a request.
Parents from Emmanuel facing prison said that their rabbi said only the man should go to prison, but stressed that they didn't intend to file official requests to the court, since their rabbi's directive is what determines.
The Hassidut Slonim parents have continually refused to comply with High Court orders to let their daughters study at the Beit Ya’acov school, alongside other girls whose religious standards they believe are not stringent enough.