Police detain at least 2 as rival factions of Hasidic sect clash in Jerusalem

Officers intervene to separate two groups of Gur Hasidim; windows of yeshiva reportedly smashed

Dozens of ultra-Orthodox Jews protest in Jerusalem, May 21, 2022. (Screenshot: Twitter)
Dozens of ultra-Orthodox Jews protest in Jerusalem, May 21, 2022. (Screenshot: Twitter)

Clashes broke out on Saturday night between rival factions of the ultra-Orthodox Gur sect in Jerusalem, leading police to intervene and detain at least two people.

The fighting came a day after the factions, which have been at odds for years, scuffled in Jerusalem and the cities of Bnei Brak and Ashdod.

The turmoil began after Gur’s leader, Rabbi Yaakov Aryeh Alter, was heckled by members of the breakaway faction while visiting the grave of his mother-in-law on Thursday, according to the Kan public broadcaster.

In footage from Saturday night’s clashes, a police officer is seen tackling an ultra-Orthodox man from behind, putting him in a chokehold and dragging him from the area. Jerusalem in the past have been accused in the past of using excessive force against ultra-Orthodox protesters.

Other videos showed hundreds of people, including many children, on a city street, moving away from police vehicles.

The ultra-Orthodox Behadrei Haredim news site said that a group of Gur Hasidim smashed the windows of a small yeshiva belonging to the breakaway faction in Jerusalem’s Ramot neighborhood.

On Friday, clashes were also reported in Jerusalem between the groups.

There was no immediate comment from police on Saturday’s clashes.

The Gur community is one of Israel’s largest ultra-Orthodox factions. Knesset member Yaakov Litzman of the United Torah Judaism party, a former health minister and a leading ultra-Orthodox lawmaker, is a member.

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