Haredim block murder investigation in J'lem
Police arrive at scene of murder in Geula neighborhood hostel. Haredim throw stones at them, set police cruiser ablaze, and try to block removal of murdered man's body. Clashes also break out in Mea Shearim. Police respond with stun grenades
Efrat Weiss * Ynet
The crime scene in Jerusalem's Geula neighborhood has turned into a battleground between police and haredim. A few dozen ultra-Orthodox people threw stones at police officers dispatched to the hostel on Tsfaniya Street, where a 50-year-old man was murdered Sunday night during a fight. The protesters tried to block removal of the murdered man's body from the scene.
In the Mea Shearim neighborhood intense clashes broke out between the two sides. Haredim threw stones and metal objects at police officers, who responded with stun grenades. Eight police officers and an ultra-Orthodox man were lightly wounded. Three police officers were evacuated to the hospital for medical attention. The rest of the wounded were treated by ambulance crews on the spot. Damage was caused to a police patrol car and two motorcycles.
Haredim started fires at a number of different locations throughout the city. A police cruiser was set ablaze on David Yellin Street. The cruiser was parked there as its police passengers investigated Sunday's murder. Police believe that haredi protesters are behind the arson. No one was injured in the incident.
Haredim tried to set fire to the welfare bureau on Yehezkel Street, however, a police force on site prevented this. A haredi man was arrested while throwing stones at the welfare bureau building.
Police investigation of the murder has thus far revealed that the scuffle between the 23-year-old Palestinian who lives in the West Bank and works in the hostel and the 50-year-old Jewish victim was not nationalistically motivated. The two had reportedly been arguing since morning hours and the dispute boiled over in the evening when the Palestinian, who works at the hostel, allegedly stabbed the Jewish man in the back, chest and abdomen, multiple times.
The suspect, who fled the scene, was apprehended by Border Guard officers operating north of the capital.
Ongoing battle between haredim and police
The ultra-Orthodox struggle against the police was bumped up in recent days. Earlier Sunday, haredim gathered in Mea Shearim to protest against the welfare bureau's cooperation with the police in the investigation of the haredi woman charged with starving her toddler son.
During the protest, they damaged a security vehicle parked near the welfare bureau. The vehicle's mirrors were smashed and tires slashed. Police were dispatched to the location to help the security company's employee leave the scene with the car.
On Saturday, hundreds of ultra-Orthodox demonstrated and attempted to block the entrance to the Karta parking lot in the city. The protestors blocked adjacent streets and confronted police forces which tried to prevent them from reaching the parking lot. Eleven of the detainees were released on Sunday with court restrictions, but following an appeal filed by local police, the court ordered that the detainees' remand be extended by 24 hours.
Meanwhile, the Post reports on the process that led to 16 haredim being detained for another day:
16 haredim remanded for 1 more day over Shabbat riots
Dan Izenberg • THE JERUSALEM POST
Seventeen haredim cuffed at the wrists and ankles filed into two courtrooms in the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court on Sunday for hearings in which the police asked to extend their remands, after they were arrested during weekend disturbances in Jerusalem over the opening of the Carta parking lot near the capital's Old City.
By the end of the day, 16 of the 17 had been remanded for another 24 hours. The last suspect was allowed to go home under restrictions.
The hearing involving 11 of the suspects who had refused to identify themselves was held before Judge Miriam Lifshitz in two shifts at around 1 p.m. The other six, who had given the police their names, were brought before Judge Irit Cohen three hours later.
One of the haredim entered Lifshitz's courtroom chanting "Shabbes koidesh" (holy Sabbath) over and over again. Another wore a tallit and covered his face with it.
Before the hearing began, one of the suspects shouted, "The holy Sabbath will defeat you. You are fighting against the Holy One Blessed Be He."
In the first hearing, police investigators Shmuel Ben-Amotz and Miki Shoshan told Lifshitz that they wanted to keep the suspects in jail longer so that they could learn their names and begin to question them. They did not make specific charges against any of the suspects.
The defense lawyer, Yair Nehorai, told the court that in previous cases, the judges had refused to agree to keep suspects in jail and argued that they could not be remanded when there were no specific allegations against each one of them.
Lifshitz agreed and ordered all 11 suspects to be released, as long as they gave the police their names and would stay out of Jerusalem for the following four weekends between 4 p.m. on Friday and 8 a.m. on Shabbat.
However, the police appealed the decision to Jerusalem District Court, which overturned it, and ordered the suspects held for 24 hours.
In the remand hearing on the other six, police prosecutor Yoram Hatan charged that one suspect had been caught with a knife in his possession, a second was suspected of throwing fruit and vegetables at police and a third had moved a garbage bin into the middle of the street.
The suspect in possession of a knife explained that he carried it in order to cut the bread at seuda shlishit - the third meal on Shabbat afternoon.
Cohen ordered five of the suspects held for another 24 hours and released the sixth under restrictions.
According to Shoshan, since the beginning of the riots, 30 haredim have been charged, and 15 have been remanded in custody until the end of legal proceedings.
UPDATE 4:25 AM CDT – Haredim are now rioting outside the national forensic institute at Abu Kabir:
4 haredim arrested during protest against autopsy of murder victim
Raanan Ben Zur • Ynet
Four ultra-Orthodox protesters were arrested by the police next to the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute. A group of haredim is protesting outside the institute against intentions to perform an autopsy on the body of a man murdered Sunday evening at a hostel in Jerusalem's Geula neighborhood.
The protesters blocked the road and attacked police officers before being arrested. The were taken in for investigation.