JERUSALEM (Jul. 4)
A 14-year-old boy from an ultra-Orthodox family confessed over the weekend that he had thrown a rock which severely injured Hebrew University scientist Uzi Ritte several months ago. The youngster was released on bail and his file turned over to a juvenile officer who must decide whether to recommend that the offender be tried.
Dr. Ritte was struck in the head while inadvertently driving through an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood on a Saturday. His injury caused him speech difficulties and a partial loss of memory.
Meanwhile, tensions rose again in Jerusalem neighborhoods shared by religious and non-religious Jews. Several residents have charged that the Orthodox have been trying to pressure non-observant Jews to give up their homes and leave the area.
Police have posted a civil guard in the Mekor Baruch quarter of Jerusalem in an attempt to cool tempers. The action was taken at a meeting at City Hall three days after a tear gas grenade was thrown at the home of the Belzer Rebbe, Rabbi Yissachar Dov Rokah, leader of the Belz Hasidim. It was the second such incident.
But the Belz Hasidim refused to participate in joint patrols of religious and secular Jews aimed at keeping peace in the neighborhood. A spokesman for the sect explained, “We showed our good will by not reacting to the grenade attacks on our rabbi. It is the job of the police to keep the peace.”