Clip shows moment burning dumpster pushed by ultra-Orthodox rioters hits J’lem woman

40-year-old mother of 10 still hospitalized in serious condition; police issue gag order on investigation into incident; nephew blames ‘anarchists’ dressed as Haredim

The scene in Jerusalem's Mea Shearim neighborhood where a 40-year-old woman was hit by a dumpster that was pushed by ultra-Orthodox rioters, December 16, 2022. (Flash90)
The scene in Jerusalem's Mea Shearim neighborhood where a 40-year-old woman was hit by a dumpster that was pushed by ultra-Orthodox rioters, December 16, 2022. (Flash90)

Security footage circulated on Sunday showing the dramatic moment a woman was hit and seriously injured by a large burning dumpster sent rolling down a street by ultra-Orthodox extremists during demonstrations in Jerusalem last week.

Mirel Dzalovsky, a 40-year-old mother of 10, remained unconscious and on a ventilator at Shaare Zedek Medical Center as of Sunday. She is in serious but stable condition, the hospital said.

Shortly after the video of the incident was posted by media outlets, police issued a gag order on the publication of further details of their investigation into the case. No direct arrests have been made in relation to the incident.

The demonstration in the capital’s Mea Shearim neighborhood on Thursday erupted in response to the arrest of a man suspected of torching a cellphone store several months ago. Cellphone stores are sometimes targeted by religious extremists for not complying with “kosher” rules restricting the devices.

The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court extended the police custody of the suspect on Sunday, by an additional three days.

The demonstrations attracted widespread condemnation from politicians, particularly from presumed incoming ministers in the anticipated coalition of far-right and ultra-Orthodox parties together with the Likud, who were eager to show their hardline security calls applied across community lines.

The woman’s nephew told Kan Reshet Bet Radio the assailants were “two people dressed as Haredim, but weren’t Haredim … anarchists, that have no connection to rabbis.”

Moshe, an ultra-Orthodox resident of Mea Shearim, told Channel 12 that the protesters represented a “small handful” of the community and that most were afraid of them.

“We are afraid of them and all these years we have been against them. These people don’t represent anyone, it is a small and loud group, and we also suffer from them,” he said.

“Although we are an ultra-Orthodox community and support protests against Zionism, we are also afraid of the extremists that injured the woman, who is hospitalized now.”

Hundreds of the protesters caused havoc for hours on Thursday night, blocking roads, torching a traffic light and trash cans, and throwing stones at police.

Firefighters put out the blazes, but one of the dumpsters struck the woman, causing her serious injuries. The footage seems to show the trash can going up in flames as it hits her.

Police arrested at least two people for disturbing public order and setting fires. The suspects were taken to a police station for questioning.

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

Police clarified in a statement that the two were not responsible for pushing the trash dumpster that injured the woman and that more arrests would be made shortly.

After the Jerusalem protests began, separate demonstrations erupted in Beit Shemesh, an ultra-Orthodox city between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

The Beit Shemesh demonstrations came in response to the arrest of two residents a few days ago for suspected vandalism of public property.

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