Clashes broke out on Sunday evening between Haredi demonstrators and police at the intersection of Jeremiah and Shamgar streets in Jerusalem. The Haredim protested police violence, and the selective enforcement of closures against the Haredi public.

The demonstrators, residents of the Haredi neighborhoods that are under closure, broke through police checkpoints in a second evening in a row of confrontations. Hundreds of residents of the neighborhoods that are under quarantine in Jerusalem demonstrated on Saturday night in the exact same place.

Border Police officers during a protest against the closure in Jerusalem, July 12, 2020. / Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90

The demonstrators protested at the spot where, on Saturday night, a policeman punched a Haredi man who asked him why he was not wearing a facemask. The Department of Police Investigations (DIP) has decided to suspend the policeman pending an investigation.

The protesters, residents of the neighborhoods of Romema, Kiryat Belz and Sanz, confronted the police, threw eggs at them and hollered “Nazis” at them.

There was a concurrent demonstration in Ramat Beit Shemesh Sunday night, at Rashi Street at the corner of Hazon Ish, with the residents protesting the closure of the neighborhood the police violence.

Police removed protesters from the streets and arrested ten of them on charges of breaking the public order.

The protests on Saturday night, July 11, 2020:

According to Kikar Hashabbat, police officers, apparently on otrders from up high, did not resort to excessive violence against the Haredi protesters, despite some violence on the latters’ part. Seeing that the cops had changed their behavior from the night before, some protesters at the scene—after two hours of no violent response from the police—began to provoke them by setting garbage can firess and taunting the police officers forces, but no further arrests were reported.

Protesters told Kikar Hashabbat: “We are just sick of it, we are part of the Haredi public that has always resisted demonstrations. But this time the state and Israel Police seem to have crossed all possible boundaries.”

“The closure of the Hassidic neighborhoods is clearly unjustified, and is based on the fact that there are many who are not tested – this is a sheer anti-Semitic claim. In addition, we’ve had enough of the harsh treatment against us, and the incessant police violence. We will demonstrate here every night, until the message permeates,” the protesters said.

For now, at least, it appears that the message had gone through and Sunday’s confrontations resulted in a much more subdued police response.


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