(VIDEOS AND PHOTOS IN EXTENDED ARTICLE)
It was a stormy and difficult Shabbos for police as Gerrer Chassidim faced off with secular residents with the chassidim unwilling to accept a sign that was posted, a sign that compromised the kovod of the Gerrer Rebbe Shlita. The sign (see accompanying photo) shows a picture of the Rebbe Shlita and reads “You have made Arad filthy! Alter and [Health Minister Yaakov] Litzman. Not for sale.”
The faceoff and accompanying shouts, counter shouts and shoving only ended when police removed the disrespectful sign.
A large contingent of chassidim gathered outside a home at 46 Gilad Street, met by a large police force including Yassam commandos. Mounted police moved in to maintain a separation between the sides. Health Minister Yaakov Litzman arrived from Jerusalem, calling on police commanders to remove the sign. Police responded, telling Litzman they can only remove the sign if ordered to do so by the attorney general and this would only occur in the morning. Litzman explained if this is so, the avreichim would remain until the morning too, at such time the sign was to be removed. Litzman added thousands of additional chassidim would come to spend the night.
Police eventually realized that permitting the sign to remain overnight would result in the continued presence of Gerrer Chassidim as well. Police detained four chareidi males on Sunday morning, all Arad residents, on suspicion of throwing burning tires at the home on which the objectionable sign was posted. Four males and a female were arrested during the Shabbos confrontations, all on suspicion of assaulting police and disturbing the peace. Four were released later on and one held over for arraignment.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)