Barkat to Reopen Kikar Safra Parking Lot On Shabbos


barkatYerushalayim Mayor Nir Barkat said today that he will be reopening the Kikar Safra Square parking lot this coming Shabbos, Parshas Korach, after it has been closed for two weeks due to protests from the chareidi community with regard to the chillul Shabbos taking place there. Negotiations between the chareidi members of the Yerushalayim City Council and Barkat have not borne fruit, and Barkat has made a decision to go ahead with reopening the lot.

As had reported, on June 12, Barkat acceded to a request by the city’s police chief to close the municipal parking lot for two Shabbosos in an attempt to reach an agreement. “This was not a capitulation to violence, but mutual respect,” Barkat said at the time after the move has been criticized by some secular residents as surrendering to chareidim.

The mayor had asked the owner of a privately-owned lot opposite the Old City walls if it could be used on Shabbosos. The privately owned lot is located underneath the Mamilla shopping mall, which also houses a new hotel that will be opened in the coming days. That plan apparently fell through, and Barkat has now decided to reopen the Kikar Safra lot which was originally opened on June 6 in agreement with Barkat’s chareidi coalition partners, to accommodate weekend visitors who were illegally parking on main thoroughfares near the Old City due to a dearth of parking spaces. About 100 motorists parked their cars in the city lot on the one Shabbos it was open.

{Yair Israel}


  1. The Chareidim are so aggressive and militant. If only they would join the army, the enemies would be terrified. The Gaza would not even dare to launch rockets at us. Iran would crumble in fear.