Smaller Protest Against Karta Lot on Shabbat
More than 250 hareidi Jews tried to block traffic in a protest over the Karta parking lot. Police arrested two.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 7/24/2011, 12:30 PM
Karta protest (file)
More than 250 hareidi Jews demonstrated on HaNevi'im Street in Jerusalem on Shabbat afternoon to protest the opening of the Karta parking lot in Jerusalem’s Old City on Sabbaths. They attempted to block the road to traffic.
Police arrested two demonstrators, and succeeded in keeping the road open to traffic.
A larger scale protest was held on the previous Sabbath. Police and about 800 protesters clashed, and mounted police were deployed to disperse rock-throwers. Five people were arrested, and six police officers were injured.
The city began operating the multi-storied parking lot on the Sabbath two years ago, in a move that has drawn fierce anger from certain hareidi leaders, most of whom are anti-Zionist.
Protests over the opening of the parking lot on Saturdays have been taking place on HaNevi'im St. for the past three months.
The protesters have argued that opening the lot on the Jewish Day of Rest encourages people to violate the Sabbath, when it is forbidden to ride. City officials say that closing the lot would not prevent tourists from visiting the Old City and would increase the traffic flow on nearby streets.