Haredi man arrested on suspicion of spitting on woman
Beit Shemesh resident detained following complaint that he spat on female passerby; suspect admits act, to be arraigned at Jerusalem Magistrate's Court
Yair Altman • Ynet
Police stepping up action against extremist haredim? A Beit Shemesh resident who was seen spitting on a woman was arrested on Saturday, the police stated on Sunday. According to the report, the haredi youth admitted to the act and will be arraigned at the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court later on Sunday.
The suspect was arrested after a police complaint was filed against him on Tuesday, and after he was identified in a TV report aired by Channel 2 on Friday.
Last week, another suspect was arrested in a similar case, but was later released by the judge.
Following the recent public controversy surrounding the exclusion of women from the public sphere, Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat on Saturday condemned the phenomenon but also accepted certain realities in strictly-haredi towns.
"I'm not sure I mind it if they decide to segregate bus lines in Modiin Illit or Beitar Illit," she told Ynet. "It’s their way of life. If it doesn't bother any woman, I'm not sure it bothers me."
Responding to Livnat's remarks, MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz) on Sunday slammed the minister, saying: " Livnat's expression of tolerance toward the segregation of women in haredi cities is very grave, and will encourage further exclusion of women.
"Segregation in the public sphere is illegal regardless of where it takes place, and it is expected of a minister in Israel's government to unequivocally demand respect for the law," he said.
According to Horowitz, "Netanyahu's government is expressing two voices – on the one hand it condemns the phenomenon and on the other hand it silently agrees to further radicalization in the haredi sector for the sake of an intact coalition."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to meet on Sunday with Finance Committee chairman MK Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism) and Deputy Health Minister Yakov Litzman (United Torah Judaism) to discuss the recent controversy.
Moran Azulay contributed to this report.