Anti-Zionists in ultra-Orthodox neighborhood attack firemen on Independence Day
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Anti-Zionists in ultra-Orthodox neighborhood attack firemen on Independence Day

Fire service says rescue workers responding to blaze in Jerusalem’s Mea Shearim were assaulted and spit on; Israeli flag on firetruck torn down

A screenshot from video of an ultra-Orthodox man in Jerusalem's Mea Shearim neighborhood ripping an Israeli flag off a fire truck on May 9, 2019. (Screen capture: Twitter)
A screenshot from video of an ultra-Orthodox man in Jerusalem's Mea Shearim neighborhood ripping an Israeli flag off a fire truck on May 9, 2019. (Screen capture: Twitter)

Anti-Zionist demonstrators attacked firefighters responding to a blaze Thursday in an ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem neighborhood, the Israel Fire and Rescue Services said.

The incident in Mea Shearim, a bastion of hard line ultra-Orthodox sects, came on Independence Day, which marks the founding of the State of Israel.

“Firefighters were called to put out a fire in the Mea Shearim neighborhood. While driving they were attacked by dozens of residents who tried to take down the Israeli flag from the fire truck,” the fire services was quoted as saying in a statement by Hebrew media.

“The firefighters fought with the [residents] as they took blows, spitting, pushing and cursing,” the statement added.

Footage aired by the Kan public broadcaster showed the demonstrators marching down Mea Shearim’s main street before walking through Shabbat Square, a major intersection in Jerusalem. At least two people can be seen carrying Palestinian flags.

A number of groups with a presence in Mea Shearim, such as Neuterai Karta, are strongly opposed to Israel’s existence on religious grounds and reject cooperating with the state.

The neighborhood has been in a number of incidents in recent years such as the burning of Israeli flags and effigies of IDF soldiers. There have also been cases of religious soldiers being accosted or even attacked.

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