Removing "modesty" signs in Beit Shemesh
Removing "modesty" signs in Beit Shemesh Yaakov Lederman, Flash 90

The Beit Shemesh municipality on Monday began removing the "modesty" signs put up by stringently haredi elements in the city, but was forced to contend with extremists who opposed the move.

The signs' removal was ordered last week by Israel's Supreme Court. The removal occurred with the aid of police officers, both in uniform and undercover.

According to a report from the municipality, the signs' removal cost approximately 50,000 NIS ($14,194). Six of the eight signs were removed before the municipality was forced to halt the operation due to disturbances.

At one of the locations, signs which were removed were immediately replaced with new ones.

Beit Shemesh Mayor Moshe Abutbul told the court that the municipality had tried several times in the past to remove the signs, but it is not feasible to remove them every day, especially since the costs of doing so are high.

Beit Shemesh was first ordered to remove the signs in 2015, when the Supreme Court said that they "cause serious harm to human dignity, equality, personal choice and autonomy."

Abutbul stressed that these efforts were made even before the Supreme Court ruled they were necessary. He called on Israel Police to enforce public order and the court ruling. According to him, such enforcement falls under the jurisdiction of the police, who have the necessary operational abilities and act to enforce the law in other areas as well.