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Monday, September 9, 2013

Beit Shemesh grave protests resume; 6 haredim wounded

Six haredi citizens sustained light to moderate injuries during Monday clashes with security guards at a disputed construction site in Beit Shemesh.

Construction at Beit Shemesh's Goloventzitz construction site has been marred by protests by haredim who claim the site is home to a historic burial site. Some of the protesters are affiliated with the radical haredi Atra Kadisha (Aramic for 'holy place') organization, which works to protect ancient Jewish grave sites in Israel and around the world.
As was the case in similar, previous incidents that took place at the site, on Monday a number of haredim arrived at the scene and began demonstrating. Several of the haredi protesters successfully managed to enter the site and began obstructing construction work.
After protesters entered the site, a scuffle broke out between the protesters and the security guards employed by the construction company.

Police forces that arrived at the scene detained two of the protesters along with six security guards and two of the site's managers. All were taken in for questioning.

One of the protesters claimed to have been hit by a metal rod. Jerusalem District Police launched an investigation on the claim.

Four of the wounded were evacuated to the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem and two to the city's Shaare Zedek Medical Center.

A person who was present at the scene insisted that security guards prevented paramedics from entering the site and giving medical assistance to the wounded haredi demonstrators until police arrived.

David Cohen, a Magen David Adom paramedic, said: "The first ambulance to arrive had difficulties getting in. Inside there were the wounded surrounded by the protesters.

"I treated two men with injuries to their faces, seemingly as a result of metal rods and stones. Two of the protesters were bleeding from their faces and another suffered an injury to his eye. The rest were hit on their backs."

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