Watch: 25,000 rally in Jerusalem against 'synagogue desecration'

Tens of thousands of Gur hasidim and their supporters rally in Jerusalem as struggle for Arad synagogue continues.

Gary Willig,

Gur rally in Jerusalem
Gur rally in Jerusalem
Eliran Aharon

More than 25,000 demonstrators rallied in Jerusalem Thursday afternoon to protest what they called the 'desecration of a synagogue' in Arad. The Rebbe of the Gur community is expected to address the rally.

Similar rallies took place in Bnei Brak and Ashdod this week.

Since 2010, members of the national-religious and Chabad communities in Arad have faced-off against local Gur hasidim, whom they claim usurped control over the city's central Ashkenazi synagogue.

Arad Mayor Nissan Ben Hamo (Yesh Atid), who took office in 2015, has backed the claims of Chabad and national-religious residents, drawing the ire of leaders of the Gur community,

The rallies were called after an incident this past Shabbat, when Yesh Atid activists demonstrated outside the synagogue in the town, openly desecrated the Shabbat, and disturbed the prayers of those in the synagogue.

Bar Ilan street in Jerusalem, bordered by haredi neighborhoods, was completely closed to traffic for the rally, which is expected to last an hour.