JERUSALEM (JTA) — About 200 ultra-Orthodox demonstrators set trash cans on fire and threw rocks at police officers in Jerusalem in protest of the removal of graves in Ashkelon.
The demonstrators also were protesting the arrest Monday of a man who is suspected of snatching the body of a dead woman to prevent an autopsy in late February.
Monday’s demonstrations followed similar rioting on Sunday in Jerusalem and Ashkelon to protest the removal by the Israel Antiquities Authority on Sunday of graves from the construction site of a protected emergency room at the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon. All of the graves have been found to be non-Jewish, from the Byzantine era, according to reports. The bones were to be reburied Monday.
On Sunday the Jerusalem municipality halted city services to several haredi neighborhoods after municipal workers were attacked. The damage from Sunday’s riots, including to garbage bins, roads, vehicles, traffic lights and street lights, was put at about $270,000. Repair costs will be borne by the municipality, Ynet reported.