Police Vow ‘Zero Tolerance’ Against Chareidi Protestors


yerushalayim-police1Yerushalayim Police have reinforced their forces ahead of protests planned this evening in response to a decision to open a parking lot near the Old City on Shabbos. The protest by the chareidi community is expected to take place at about 7 p.m., with tens of thousands of people arriving for an atzeres tefillah on Rechov Bar Illan. “We will show zero tolerance against violent riots,” a police official said today. Two weeks ago, a police officer was hit and injured by a stone following the opening of the Kikar Safra parking lot near Yerushalayim’s city hall. Five additional policemen were hurt by other objects hurled at them. A few protestors threw dirty diapers and bottles and called the police “Nazis.”

Following the protests, Yerushalayim Mayor Nir Barkat announced that the disputed parking lot would be closed for two weeks of dialogue, in an attempt to reach a compromise.

Yesterday, the court approved the opening of an alternative location, the Karta parking lot, prompting a renewal of protests against chillul Shabbos.

Hundreds of police officers are expected to be placed in various locations this evening. “We estimate that there will be no violent riots,” a police official said, “but we are preparing for such a possibility.

“As long as the protest is legitimate and organized we will allow them to hold it, but the moment the riots turn violent we will show zero tolerance,” the police official threatened.

The seculars in Yerushalayim are also planning a response with a protest expected to be held near the Karta parking lot on Shabbos afternoon. The police have approved the participation of 1,000 people.

In any event, the police promised that the parking lot would remain open. “No one will prevent its opening,” vowed a police source.

{Yair Alpert-Matzav.com Israel/Ynet}