Jerusalem: Police raid haredi printing house

Officers empty printing house of flyers with hate messages directed toward gay parade organizers, police; ultra-Orthodox rioting in capital continues

Ynet News/November 9, 2006
By Neta Sela

Police officers raided late Thursday a printing house in Jerusalem’s ultra-Orthodox Me’a Shearim neighborhood after it had distributed flyers with hate messages directed toward the gay pride parade organizers and police.

According to police, the printing house is owned by members of an extreme ultra-Orthodox sect that in the past few years carried out acts described by segments of the haredi community as “acts of terror.”

The religious zealots have recently waged a violent campaign against what they refer to as the ‘promiscuity’ on the haredi streets and the infiltration of ‘fashion’ that often times does not correspond with the strict dress codes in the community.

The owner of the printing house, a haredi in his 30's, was detained for questioning. An eyewitness told Ynet that four police squad cars and eight more officers conducted the raid.

“They busted into the structure and emptied it out,” he said, “They didn’t leave one flyer inside. What they couldn’t fit into the vehicles was thrown into a burning garbage can nearby.”

Electricity pole was set ablaze

The printing house was also responsible for distributing flyers warning of another war in Lebanon and an earthquake if the gay parade is allowed to take place; its owners are also suspected of distributing flyers referring to Jerusalem Police Chief Ilan Franco as a “bitter Nazi enemy.”

Meanwhile, the rioting on the capital’s streets continued: A Border Guard officer and a civilian were lightly injured after stones were thrown at them by haredi protesters at Hashabat Square; the two were evacuated to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital for treatment.

Ultra-Orthodox also hurled stones at mounted policemen, who responded with a stun grenade; three protesters suspected of throwing stones were detained.

In addition, hundreds of ultra-Orthodox attempted to block an intersection on Road 1 in Jerusalem but were dispersed by police forces. Furthermore, an electricity pole was set ablaze, and the city’s Geula neighborhood was plunged into darkness; a haredi youngster was detained on suspicion of arson. Keren Kayamet Street in central Jerusalem was also blocked for traffic after protesters set garbage pails on fire; riots were also reported in the neighborhoods of Katamon and Talpiot.

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