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Israeli News Crew Attacked by Ultra-Orthodox Sect Near Jerusalem


(The Blaze/AP) Israeli police say a TV crew has been attacked by a group of ultra-Orthodox Jewish men in a city that has become a symbol of violent religious extremism.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld says ultra-Orthodox men surrounded a Channel 2 news truck in Beit Shemesh and hurled stones at it, lightly wounding one member of the TV crew.

He says the rioters also stole TV equipment.

Beit Shemesh is a city of 85,000 just outside Jerusalem. On Friday, Channel 2 aired a story about tensions in the city between modern Orthodox residents and the extremist ultra-Orthodox Haredi sect.

The story featured an 8-year-old American girl who says she is afraid to walk to school in the morning because the town's Haredim have spat on her and cursed her. The Jerusalem Post reports that a haredi man from Beit Shemesh was released from the Jerusalem Magistrate Court Sunday for spitting at a woman he claimed was dressed immodestly.

The Post reports that a leader of the Beit Shemesh Eda Haredit group, Rabbi Shimon Shasi, had testified on the spitter's behalf and told the court that while spitting or throwing things at women is forbidden, the haredim actually treat their women “like kings.”

Jerusalem police have pleaded with municipality inspectors to work with police to take down signs around the city demanding modest dress, including signs requiring pedestrians to wear modest clothes or, in one case, asking women to cross to the other side of the street in order to avoid walking by a yeshiva.

Video from JerusalemOnline News on the attack:

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