Saturday, April 15, 2006

Protest in Kikar Shabbos

Ynet: Ultra-Orthodox demonstrators burned garbage cans in Jerusalem and blocked roads on Friday, renewing unrest caused by their demand to free an ultra-Orthodox father, suspected of beating his son and killing him. Crews from the Jerusalem Municipality who arrived at the scene to remove the blocks said they were attacked with stones and were forced to leave the area. Luckily, no one was injured.What started as street notices and local organized gatherings turned into violent protests against the arrest of Israel Asher Valas, 19, an ultra-Orthodox man accused of manslaughter over the death of his three-month-old son.......Thursday evening, protestors set garbage carts on fire in the Shabbat plaza in Jerusalem and tried to block two streets. On Passover eve several hundred ultra-Orthodox demonstrated outside the police station....Yehezkel Street was blocked to traffic by garbage carts that were set ablaze... Shivtei Israel Street and blocked with burning garbage cans.Valas' family turned to leading rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv and asked for help. "If indeed your version is correct we need to act on the matter," the rabbi said. The infant’s mother told confidants that the attitude towards her and her husband is stained with discrimination: “The only problem is that we are Haredi and not Arabs, and therefore their behavior toward us is cruel. It's a blood libel before Pesach. He is a yeshiva student and a gentle husband and there is no way he did this.”Regarding police accusations that he threw the baby to the wall and shook it violently, the mother said, “He shook him in order to calm him down and not in an abusive manner. He was hysteric that the baby couldn’t breath and tried to shake him but not in the manner they ascribe to him.”An ultra-Orthodox source told Ynet: "At first we were quiet because his lawyer said it would interfere. Now they decided that he was wrong and on Sunday they will start with fierce demonstrations across the country."Meanwhile, giant notices were posted in haredi neighborhoods, both in Hebrew and English, regarding a "blood libel". Protest organizers vowed to hold demonstrations in the U.S. as well."
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