J'lem Haredim Attack Mayor's Car

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JERUSALEM, Israel - A mob of Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Jews surrounded Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat's car on Sunday evening, as he left a personal meeting with a rabbi.

The incident took place on Hana Street in Jerusalem's Ezrat Torah neighborhood.

The protestors surrounded the car, some throwing rocks and damaging it, while others cursed the mayor and attempted to prevent the car from leaving.

"[It] looked like a lynching," one eyewitness said. "A few more minutes and they would have flipped the car over," he said.

A police escort had to call in reinforcements to clear the road of the protesters.

"A radical group of Haredim threw stones at his car, damaging the vehicle, and surrounded it," a statement from the municipality read.

"The police, who escorted Barkat, needed to call for backup. Minutes later, they successfully cleared the way for the mayor," the municipality stated.

"I will not succumb to violence," Barkat said. "Whoever thinks violence and thuggery will achieve anything is mistaken," he added.

The United Torah Judaism (UTJ) party issued a statement condemning the attack.

The city's ultra-Orthodox population has demonstrated every Saturday evening for more than a month to protest the municipality's decision to open the Cara parking lot on Shabbat (the Sabbath). At one demonstration, they threw rocks at an Egged bus.

Both Barkat and Deputy Mayor Yitzhak Pindrus (UTJ) have threatening e-mails in the past several weeks, which have been turned over to the police.

Sources: YNet news, The Jerusalem Post

Related Story:

Ten Hurt in Haredi Riots

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