Two Cops Hurt in Clashes With ultra-Orthodox in Jerusalem

Some 1,000 Haredi protesters gather in Jerusalem to rally against Intel decision to stay open on Shabbat.

Thousands of ultra-Orthodox demonstrators gathered on Sunday evening at an industrial zone in Jerusalem where Intel has its compound, to protest the company's decision to stay open on the Sabbath.

As their protests picked up speed over the course of the evening, the demonstrators began throwing rocks at police officers, wounding two. Two protesters were arrested in the wake of the clashes.

"We hate desecrators of the Sabbath and will continue to fight them," Rabbi Yitzhak Tuvia Weiss, the leader of the Haredi sector said to the protesters.

Although he called on the protesters to break up their protests quietly, the young ultra-Orthodox continued in the thousands to demonstrate near the Golda Meir square in the city center.

After several Haredi protests in November against the computer company, Intel agreed to stop employing Jews for its Saturday shifts at the Jerusalem plant. The rabbis did not accept the offer, however, and vowed to continue to struggle against the company.

Ultra-Orthodox protests over the past few months have subjected police to verbal and physical violence, which was said to represent a transgression of limitations set last summer by Rabbi Weiss, after officers warned him they may not be able to control their men if they continue to be subjected to spits and taunts.

Haredi rabbis have warned not to physically assault police and particularly not to spit at them.