Ashkelon Riots Die Down

Published: May 18th 2010
in News » Israel

Pic: wikimedia commons

Following Sunday’s riots in Ashkelon on the account of the removal of bones, protests struck out again in Jerusalem regarding the arrest of a man who is suspected of stealing a woman’s corpse to prevent it from undergoing an autopsy in late February.


Ultra-Orthodox protestors continue to claim the bones found to be Jewish and the removal of them sacrilege and many continue rioting. These bones, now proven by archeologists to not be Jewish bones but rather Christian or Pagan bones dating back 1,400 years, were found while construction plans were underway to build Barzilai Hospital’s new bomb-proof emergency room.


When Israel Antiquity Authorities began the relocation of the bones, dozens of ultra-Orthodox protesters began rioting to delay construction in the area. Damage to trash bins, roads, vehicles, traffic lights, street lights, totaled after Sunday’s riots came to approximately $270,000, according to AP reports. Sunday’s riots also instigated 30 arrests of protestors according to Police spokesman Micky Rosenfield.


Community services in the neighbourhoods of the protesters were halted by Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat as a response to the destruction caused by the riots. The riots occurred despite heavy guard and stepped-up patrols in both cities. However, according to Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman, ultra-Orthodox rabbinical leaders did not call for a major protest, the ultra-Orthodox Jew told Israeli radio.


Contrary opinions on the matter have been expressed, including that of Prime Minister of Benjamin Netanyahu who told his Cabinet on Sunday that the “general good” exceeds the interests of the minority ultra-Orthodox.


The bodies were scheduled to be reburied on Monday, however the process of relocation could be a matter of a few days according to Israeli Antiquities Authority spokesperson Yoli Shwartz.

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