Haredim violently protest lot’s Shabbat opening

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Violent protests continued for a second day in a rigorously Orthodox Jerusalem neighborhood over the opening of a public parking lot on Shabbat.

Dumpsters were set on fire in Mea Shearim for a second day as part of riots that began Saturday night.

Haredi men on Saturday threw rocks, bottles and dirty diapers as well as other projectiles at police and blocked roads to protest the opening of a parking lot in Safra Square. Six police officers were wounded during the protests.

The parking lot was open free and manned by Arab workers in an attempt to make it adhere to Jewish law on Shabbat. The municipality decided to open the lot to accommodate weekend visitors to the city.

A recent decision by the municipality bars all vehicles from entering the Old City on Shabbat, and most parking lots near the Old City have been closed in recent years due to haredi pressure, according to reports.

Flyers announcing the "Battle for Jerusalem" were posted in fervently Orthodox neighborhoods prior to Shabbat.
 

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