3 Soldiers and 3 Policemen Injured by Ultra-orthodox in Mea Shearim
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3 Soldiers and 3 Policemen Injured by Ultra-orthodox in Mea Shearim

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Three soldiers and three policemen were injured by rioting ultra-Orthodox Jews in the Mea Shearim quarter Saturday night. Eight religious zealots were arrested and dozens more were dispersed by police after several hours of violent demonstrations.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews also clashed with police in Petach Tikva Friday night when they were prevented from marching on the Heichal Cinema to stop a Sabbath performance there. One of the marchers was arrested for assaulting a policeman.

Unrest broke out in the ultra-Orthodox Mea Shearim quarter about an hour after the Sabbath ended. Religious youths began harassing nonreligious passersby and later hurled rocks at Egged buses, damaging two vehicles.

Police vans summoned to the area were attacked with stones and bottles. Two policemen were hurt and were evacuated. Police re-enforcements pressed the crowd back towaward Sabbath Square where a senior police officer was struck on the head by a rock and was rushed to a hospital. Eventually the crowd was dispersed and traffic was resumed in the area under heavy police guard.

The trouble in Petach Tikva is almost a weekly affair. Several thousand Orthodox Jews converged on the cinema in another attempt to prevent movie-goers from entering. Police ordered them to disperse because they lacked a permit.

The same situation arose only a week ago when Petach Tikva’s police chief, Orthodox Rabbi Baruch Salomon, led 48 other rabbis to the theater, the scene of frequent clashes between religious and secular Jews. Salomon was arraigned by a magistrate’s court for leading an unauthorized demonstration. But he was back in the streets Friday night exhorting his followers against the police ban and the film showings.

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