Haredi suspect in serious injury of woman at protest says he’s ‘proud’ to be in jail

In letter displayed on posters around capital’s Mea Shearim neighborhood, Meir Kazav asks to be moved to a cell without a television to avoid being drawn into sin

Ultra-Orthodox rioters clash with police in Jerusalem, December 15, 2022. (Israel Police)
Ultra-Orthodox rioters clash with police in Jerusalem, December 15, 2022. (Israel Police)

An ultra-Orthodox man who was charged on suspicion of his involvement in seriously injuring a woman during a December riot in Jerusalem said he is proud to be behind bars.

Meir Kazav, 22, and a 16-year-old have been charged on suspicion that they lit a garbage dumpster on fire and then rolled it down a street, where it hit Mirel Dzalovsky, crushing her against a wall. Dzalovsky, 40 and a mother of 10, remains in a serious condition. The other suspect cannot be identified in the media, as he is a minor.

The mid-December demonstration in the Mea Shearim neighborhood erupted in response to the arrest of a man suspected of torching a cell phone store several months ago. Cell phone stores are sometimes targeted by religious extremists for not complying with kosher rules restricting the devices.

A letter from Kazav was published in Jerusalem’s Mea Shearim neighborhood on “pashkevilim” — posters displayed in public places that are used to transmit information to the community that traditionally does not use telecommunications at home.

Kazav wrote that was “a huge privilege and every day that I am behind bars, I thank God, may God be blessed for that,” according to a report from the Walla news site.

In the missive, he noted that he wants to be transferred to a cell without a television set so that he can “continue to live as an ultra-Orthodox Jew.”

Kazav wrote that all he asks is “that they let me live as a Jew and that they do not cause me to sin with forbidden sights and by hearing words of heresy and lechery.”

Ultra-Orthodox groups responsible for publishing the pashkevilim told Walla they will rally to support the suspect “to save him from the jaws of Satan.”

Kazav and the teenage suspect were charged on January 9 with causing serious injury under aggravating circumstances, arson, and impeding a police officer.

Prosecutors asked that they be held until the end of legal proceedings.

They are both students at a yeshiva of the Breslov Hasidic sect, Walla reported.

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