Haredi Orthodox riot at Beit Shemesh construction site

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Dozens of haredi Orthodox men rioted at a construction site in Beit Shemesh, which they believe is a burial site.

Some 14 rioters were arrested during Monday’s protest by Jerusalem District Police, including one on charges of assaulting a police officer. More than 100 haredim protested at the site, where they set trash collection bins on fire and blocked a major city street.

The rioting spread to haredi Orthodox neighborhoods of Jerusalem, including Geulah and Mea Shearim, where trash bins were set ablaze to prevent traffic in the streets.

The haredi Orthodox Committee for Graves of Israel has said human bones were found in the caves on the site, while the construction company claims the caves were grain and oil storage houses, according to Ynet.

Haredi Orthodox religious leaders are divided over whether the construction is permitted under Jewish law.

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