An Israeli cop who found himself in the heart of a demonstration by radical ultra-Orthodox Jews pulled his gun on the protesters on Monday. In a video of the event, the officer can be seen taking out his pistol as he exists his patrol car, while he tells demonstrators: "who wants a bullet?"
The rally took place in protest of the arrest of two members of the radical "Jerusalem sect," a non-Hassidic ultra-Orthodox group, who refused to enlist to the military and were AWOL. The two were sent to a military jail, prompting sect leader Rabbi Shmuel Auerbach to call for protests.
Affiliated ultra-Orthodox took to the streets in Jerusalem, Bnei Brak and Beit Shemesh, blocking streets, confronting drivers and clashing with the police. Over 10 were arrested overall
The Israeli police said that a preliminary investigation indicated that "the officer found himself inside a group of violent protesters that surrounded him and threw stones and objects at his patrol car, blocking its route, while they continue to close in on him in a threatening manner, cursing him and pushing the patrol car. At some point, the officer felt threatened and tried to get them to move away. Nonetheless, the officer was called in for clarifications."
This isn’t the first time ultra-Orthodox protests have seen violence between officers and demonstrators. In September, rallies took place across Israel and videos published on social media showed police violence, sparking a debate about police brutality.
The videos prompted Israel's Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich to called officers' conduct unacceptable. "I felt very bad to see the pictures from the demonstration. There are policemen here who will be held accountable if it is found that they acted improperly." Alsheich said.
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