Zealots Attack Israeli Ministry; 20 Rooms Damaged; Cabinet Hears Report

The Cabinet today dealt with rioting last night by ultra-Orthodox zealots in which a mob of residents of Jerusalem’s Meah Shearim quarter broke into a nearby Education Ministry building, smashing doors, windows and furniture, resulting in damage and destruction in about 20 rooms of the building.

A report on the incident, in which the rioters also attempted to set fire to a police patrol car parked outside the building, was made to the Cabinet by Education Minister Zalman Aranne. Prime Minister Levi Esbkol reiterated during the Cabinet session that the Government and police will take all measures to prosecute those responsible.

The attack on the Education Ministry building followed day-long clashes over Sabbath traffic near the Meah Shearim quarter between the zealots and the police in which a number of police were injured by stone-throwing demonstrators and nine of the zealots were arrested. Police used fire hoses on the demonstrators who hurled rocks and bottles at police units stationed in the quarter in efforts to prevent recurrence of the anti-traffic rioting.

Dr. Joseph Burg, Minister for Social Welfare, narrowly escaped injury by a stone thrown from one of the balconies when he visited the quarter yesterday with Religious Affairs Minister Zorach Warhaftig. One Orthodox Jew, who attempted to argue with the zealots against the preservation of the Sabbath through violence, was seriously injured by a rock thrown at close range near the Mandelbaum Gate yesterday morning.

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