JERUSALEM (JTA) — A protest by hundreds of haredi Orthodox demonstrators over the opening of a Jerusalem parking lot on Shabbat turned violent.
Police and protesters clashed an hour after the start of Saturday’s rally, which began peacefully. The violence included rock throwing by protesters. Five demonstrators were arrested and six policemen were injured.
The protest, which marked the 100th Shabbat since the lot was opened over the objections of the religious public, was called to be nonviolent, according to posters hung in haredi neighborhoods.
The lot was opened on Shabbat two years ago by order of Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat in order to assist Saturday visitors to the holy city. The lot is staffed by non-Jews and is free on Saturday.
Demonstrators also demanded that two main thoroughfares in downtown Jerusalem be closed to traffic on Shabbat.