More Rioting In Poneviz Yeshiva
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
The nearly decade-long succession battle for control of the Israel’s second largest non-hasidic Ashkenazi haredi yeshiva got even more heated tonight.
Riots broke out in Poneviz (Ponevitch) Yeshiva in Bnei Brak again today with students from one of the yeshiva’s warring factions spraying pepper spray and tear gas during ma’ariv (evening prayers), Behadrei Haredim reported.
Paramedics responded and evacuated three wounded haredim part to Tel Hashomer Hospital and ma’ariv was cancelled.
“Loud shouting was heard in the meeting hall and then the pepper gas was sprayed,” one witness reportedly said.
Last night, between 2:00 am and 3:00 am Thursday morning, police swooped down on the yeshiva and detained 30 students. Four were formally arrested and were released this morning under restrictive conditions by a magistrate. Teh others were questioned and released by police. The magistrate thought the arrests were unnecessary to make in the middle of the night and reportedly told police they could have conducted their investigation without making them. But tonight’s fresh violence may prove the magistrate wrong.
Today at a noon meeting, one of the “terrorist” faction’s rabbis called on his disciples to ignore the police and the arrests.
“We’re not afraid of the police,” he reportedly told his students. “Never give up!”
In 2008, one of the faction’s was allegedly responsible for leaving a live pipe bomb on the door step of the rival faction’s top rabbi, and over the past decade their have been large riots between the two the factions along with several stabbings and beatings.