Thursday, May 31, 2012

Ultra-Orthodox Jews arrested for disrupting infrastructure work in Galilee

As reported by Maor Buchnik of Ynet News, May 30, 2012:

Six ultra-Orthodox men were arrested for disrupting infrastructure works taking place near Habakkuk's Tomb in the Galilee. The offenders claimed they were trying to prevent the desecration of Jewish graves located in the area.

The ultra-religious group arrived at the construction site, which is being supervised by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) due to concerns the work could damage archeological artifacts, on Wednesday afternoon.

According to the police, the protesters called members of the construction crew "robbers" and interrupted their work. The officers who responded on the scene arrested six of the protesters, aged 25-30, all of whom reside in central Israel.

An IAA official said he was unfamiliar with the details of the incident.

On Tuesday, unidentified assailants desecrated an ancient synagogue located at a national park near Tiberias. The vandals shattered antique mosaics and daubed slogans on the walls. The IAA said that the incident came in response to archeological works that the assailants believe are damaging to Jewish burial sites.

Late last year, unidentified vandals torched a receptacle containing antique artifacts located in an archeological dig near Afula.

An activist belonging to the ultra-Orthodox Atra Kadisha movement, which opposes the archeological works, said at the time that the exploratory projects violate an agreement reached between rabbis and the IAA.

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