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0202 – Points of View from Jerusalem


"A wave of arrests in the Haredi neighborhood; A 14-year-old boy was arrested

Large amounts of police, detectives and special units raided Jerusalem's Mea She’arim [1] neighborhood in a wave of arrests on Sunday night. The forces entered the neighborhood after 3:00 AM and reached at least eight houses, but in the end only four people were arrested, including a 14-year-old boy. The raid on the neighborhood brought out hundreds of people, demonstrating against the police forces in attempts to thwart the arrests. 'Pirates of the Night,' the demonstrators yelled at them and one of them even waved a Palestinian flag.

Kikar Hashabat has learned that contrary to various reports in the neighborhood, this wave of arrests following the destruction of the Internet store in the neighborhood [2] are a result of the riots last week near the [army] recruitment office.

Last Sunday, hundreds of members of the ‘Eda Haredit’ [3] and ‘Neturei Karta’ [4] protested for a long time in front of the recruitment office in Jerusalem, protesting the arrest of a girl who asked for an exemption from military service on the grounds of being religious, but the army suspected that she was not being truthful [regarding her religiosity] [5]. The demonstrators [last week] clashed for hours with the police, who eventually responded with the use of stun grenades when the confrontations became particularly violent, such as they had not been for a long time.

In the end, the girl was released last Tuesday, [represented] by attorney Menachem Shtauber and activist Shimon Shisha."

– Kikar Hashabat

0202 Editor's Notes:
[1] Mea She’arim (lit. ‘A hundred gates’) – A central Haredi neighborhood in Jerusalem.
[2] On Sunday, a local shop selling internet services and hardware was vandalized. In Haredi society, use of the Internet is largely frowned upon or forbidden completely, albeit this practice being gradually contested by a growing number of Haredim. In cases where internet or smartphones are used, filtering is strongly demanded, mainly against sexual content but also against most ‘regular’ sites as they are perceived as contradictory to the Haredi way of life. Some extreme groups within the Haredi society protest actively against shops that sell internet-related merchandise and in extreme cases, such as this one, vandalize such shops.
[3] The ‘Eda Haredit’ (lit. Haredi congregation) is an extreme Haredi sector which is against cooperation with the state of Israel and upholds a rigorous and isolated way of life.
[4] Neturei Karta (lit., ‘Guardians of the City’ in Aramaic), is a small group within Haredi Judaism that is known for its hard line against Zionism and any possible manifestations of Zionism in the land of Israel. The group believes that until such a time that God redeems the Jewish people, the Jews do not have the right to take steps to surpass God’s Divine plan. Most of the Neturei Karta community – around 400 families – are based in Me’a She’arim neighborhood in Jerusalem.
[5] In Israel, women are entitled to exemption from the mandatory recruitment based on religiosity. When army authorities deem that a woman falsely declares leading a religious life style, they will deny her exemption request and issue a draft notice for her. In this case, the army arrested a woman belonging to one of the Haredi communities, claiming they have evidence proving that her lifestyle is far from being Haredi. Conversely, the Haredi community claimed that her current lifestyle is just a temporary lapse and that she is in the process of returning to the Haredi way of life.

#army #police #arrests #Neturei_Karta #Mea_Shearim