JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli police say they have arrested an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man for demanding women move to the back of a bus, sparking protests that saw bus windows smashed.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld says Wednesday’s incident occurred in the devoutly religious neighborhood of Beit Shemesh. He says ultra-Orthodox demonstrators in the neighborhood smashed the windows of three nearby buses while protesting the arrest. There were no injuries and no further arrests.
Ultra-Orthodox practice forbids men from touching women, except for their wives, and calls for separating the sexes in public. In recent years, however, hard-liners in the insular ultra-Orthodox community have tried to forcefully impose their will on others.
The ultra-Orthodox represent less than 10 percent of Israel’s Jewish population, but they have tremendous influence in politics.