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Beit Shemesh: Hareidi Extremists Riot Over Bus Segregation

Rioting began when several women refused to move to the back of a bus. Mayoral candidate: "we must end violence by extremists"
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 7/31/2013, 3:37 PM

Egged Bus (Archive)
Egged Bus (Archive)
Egged

Hareidi-religious men rioted Wednesday in Beit Shemesh when several women refused to move to the back of Egged bus line #471.

A hareidi-religious man accompanied by a woman asked several female passengers to move to the back of the bus, according to Israel Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.

When they refused, the couple began arguing with the women, until finally the driver called police to the scene, which occurred in the hareidi-religious section of the city. The man was arrested and taken into custody. It is not clear whether the woman was arrested as well.

“Disturbances broke out immediately after that,” Rosenfeld told Arutz Sheva. “Stones were thrown, and windows were smashed," adding that about 30 men hurled rocks at three Egged buses, “smashing their windows.”  

About 30 men were involved in the violence, according to Rosenfeld, who said the rioting lasted for nearly half an hour.  

“There is still a strong police presence in the area,” he said, but added that the situation had calmed.

Following the incident, religious Zionist mayoral candidate Eli Cohen released a statement to media about the rioting. “Once again, violence and incitement of extremists against the general public has been repeated. All this is taking place in the current term, and is further proof that [hareidi-religious Mayor Moshe] Abutbul’s time has come to an end.

“On October 23 we must put an end to violence and intimidation by extremists. It is inconceivable that the residents of Beit Shemesh should be afraid to move around freely. We must cut off this phenomenon.”