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Zealots Continue to Stone Buses Despite Sabbath Agreement

July 13, 1971
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Religious zealots here are continuing their campaign against the Egged bus cooperative despite the latter’s promise not to operate buses in Jerusalem before the close of the Sabbath. A woman bus passenger holding a baby was injured Saturday night when a bus was pelted with stones in the ultra-Orthodox Mea Shearim quarter. The incident occurred a half hour after the Sabbath ended and normal traffic had been resumed through the quarter without incident. Later in the evening, local residents blocked traffic through quarter by spreading rocks and garbage on the streets. Police were summoned several times to remove the obstructions. A spokesman for the extremist Neturei Karta said yesterday that Orthodox circles in Mea Shearim were investigating the feasibility of establishing their own bus line to carry residents of the quarter to and from the Mahane Yehuda market and other points in the city.

An Egged spokesman said last night that the company’s agreement not to operate buses on the Sabbath stands despite the latest stone-throwing incident. “We don’t understand what they want from us any more. We made an agreement and we stood by our obligation. We expect the police to find a way to stop our buses from being attacked,” he said. The spokesman was referring to an agreement reached last Thursday at a meeting of Egged representatives with Rabbis Menachem Porush, Shearyashuy Cohen and Yaacov Katznelson who pledged that there would be no more violence against the buses if Egged agreed not to operate during the Sabbath hours. But the stone-throwing Saturday night indicated that the rabbis’ word carried no weight with the Orthodox extremists. The Neturei Karta leader, Rabbi Amram Blau, did not attend the meeting with the Egged representatives. A Neturei Karta spokesman said that one of the sect’s leaders, Rabbi Aaron Katzenellenbogen, was summoned by Police Chief Daniel Barell last Friday and asked to have his followers refrain from demonstrations. Berell reportedly guaranteed that no buses would leave the terminal before the close of the Sabbath.

In a related incident Friday night, youth walking through the quarter with a lighted cigarette was assaulted by a group of zealots. He reportedly drew a knife and wounded several of his assailants. No complaint was lodged with the police. On Friday, a Jerusalem juvenile court imposed a $175 fine on two youths, aged 15-16 for attacking religious youths during a demonstration here last Wednesday night. Another youngster was given a six month suspended sentence for setting his dog on religious youths demonstrating against the Egged bus company.

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