Haredi J'lem protests incur NIS 1 million of damage
Internal security minister condemns violent protest by haredim over relocation of ancient graves at Barzilai hospital, promises to put perpetrators on trial. Ynet investigation reveals NIS 1 million in damage to Jerusalem city property alone. 40 haredi rioters detained in Jaffa
Ronen Medzini • Ynet
The damage from the riots carried out by members of the Eda Haharedit Sunday is valued at NIS 1 million (about $270,000). A Ynet investigation revealed that the municipal coffers will bear the burden of the protesters' vandalism, which included damage to garbage bins, roads, vehicles, traffic lights, and street lights.
In the meantime, haredi riots have restarted in Jaffa. Dozens took to Yefet Street in protest against construction they claim is being carried out on the site. After refusing to abide police orders to evacuate the site, 40 protesters were detained.
Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch condemned Monday the violence carried out during the haredi protest against the relocation of graves at a construction site at Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon. "Anyone who damaged property and harmed police will be served with an indictment," Aharonovitch assured.
In Aharonovitch's estimation, the violent protests have yet to subside. "From what I know, they will continue rioting and disturbing public order."
At least one group in Jerusalem is outraged by the costs incurred by the riots, and is insisting not to pay. The "forum of organizations for a free Jerusalem," which spearheaded the recent secular protests in the city, sent Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat a letter announcing their refusal to pay for the damage incurred.
"We, representatives of the free organizations in Jerusalem, including student and youth organizations, are fed up with bearing the heavy burden forced on us by haredi rioters," the letter to Barkat read.
"In the past two years, according to official documents, the city invested millions of shekels from public coffers in rehabilitating streets and public property on which the bullies rioted. Needless to say, these same rioters do not contribute to the public coffers from which they squeeze more and more each time another wave of vandalism comes to an end," the forum claimed in the letter.
The forum praised the mayor's decision to halt municipal services to haredi neighborhoods in which the riots took place, and demanded that from here on in only the residents of those neighborhoods be responsible for funding repairs.
"Perhaps such a tax will even create a deterrent for the sector's bullies the next time they take to the streets," the letter concluded.
Yael Branovsky contributed to this report.