Dozens of ultra-Orthodox protesters attacked police officers who were searching the offices of an anti-draft organization in Jerusalem. The rioters threw stones and eggs at the police and six suspects were arrested. Anti-draft leaders: “This is a desperate attempt to silence and curtail our actions with the intention of harming the lifestyle of the ultra-Orthodox community.”
Watch: Haredim attack Israel Police officers in Mea She’arim during a raid on the offices of an anti-draft organization
Israel Police forces who arrived Tuesday to search the Mea Shearim offices of the “Rescue Center” organization, which is working to fight the recruitment of Haredim into the IDF, were attacked by dozens of Haredi rioters. The ultra-Orthodox Jews gathered outside of the building, shouted at the police and began throwing stones, iron bars and eggs at them.
Dozens of Haredim were already gathered outside of the organization’s headquarters when the police arrived and Additional reinforcements were dispatched to disperse the crowd, but a riot broke out as the police officers exited the building. Six suspects were arrested and brought in for questioning.
“The Israel Police takes any attempt to use rioting and violence in order to influence and prevent police activity and the execution of court decisions seriously and will not allow it,” the Israel Police said in a statement.
The Rescue Center organization said in response that “this is a desperate attempt to silence and curtail our actions with the intention of harming the lifestyle of the ultra-Orthodox community.” They continued: “The idea that police cars and bullies will make the ultra-Orthodox community to abandon the cause is ridiculous and detached from reality.”
Earlier today, dozens of Haredim rioted in Mea Shearim while Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman visited the Haredi neighborhood in order to console Rabbi Firer, who recently lost a loved one. The rioters gathered outside of the building where the meeting was taking place and tried to prevent Lieberman from leaving. When Lieberman came outside, the rioters started to hurl stones and items at the minister’s security guards.