Police arrest suspect over blazing dumpster that injured mother during Haredi riot

Suspect from Mea Shearim in Jerusalem, where anti-police riot two weeks ago led to Mirel Dzalovsky being hospitalized; she remains in serious but stable condition

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)

Police arrested a suspect allegedly involved in launching a blazing dumpster on wheels that slammed into a passerby and seriously injured her during protests in Jerusalem earlier this month, authorities said Sunday.

The suspect was arrested in the capital’s ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Mea Shearim, police said.

The area was the scene of riots of December 15 that led to the injury of Mirel Dzalovsky, a 40-year-old mother of 10 who happened to be walking by.

The suspect was taken in for questioning, police said, adding that they intend “to bring to justice all those involved in the incident.” The suspect’s identity was sealed under a court-issued gag order.

According to a Channel 12 report, Dzalovsky was still hospitalized in serious but stable condition, as of Sunday.

The arrest was the first over the incident announced by police, two people were detained during the violent demonstration for disturbing the peace and setting fires.

The protest erupted in response to the arrest of a man suspected of torching a cell phone store several months earlier. Cell phone stores are sometimes targeted by religious extremists for not complying with ultra-Orthodox demands on restricting the devices.

Dzalovsky was passing by the protest when she was hit by a large metal dumpster filled with flaming garbage that had been sent rolling down a hill by some protesters.

The incident was met with condemnation from ultra-Orthodox political leaders, who are set to move into power in the next government, though Dzalovsky’s family has urged the public to stop “fanning the flames of hate” by looking for someone to blame.

Relatives told Channel 12 news it felt as if the public was “celebrating our horrific situation” and trying to use the incident as a case against “the people of Mea Shearim,” an insular ultra-Orthodox enclave seen as a crucible of Haredi extremism.

They defended those responsible, saying they meant to block a road and “did not mean to kill anyone.”

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