08/31/2009, 00.00
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Jerusalem, clashes between police and ultra-Orthodox Jews, eight officers injured

Hundreds of protesters attacked the police overnight. Observant Jews protesting against the opening of a car park on the Jewish holy day of rest.
Jerusalem (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Eight policemen injured – none seriously – is the outcome of last night's clashes in Jerusalem between police and hundreds of ultra-Orthodox Jews. Their anger was roused by a court decision to validate the detention of 16 ultra-Orthodox Jews, arrested August 29 while protesting the opening of a fee paying car park on Shabbat, the Jewish Day of rest.  

For the first time since the start of protests over the car park, which opened several weeks ago, police responded by launching tear gas and using stun grenades. Public radio reported dozens of injuries among the demonstrators, but there is no official confirmation from hospital sources. Six police cars and two motorcycles were also damaged. At dawn the protesters also tried to set fire to the offices of the Israeli Ministry for the welfare, located in an ultra-Orthodox neighbourhood of the city.

Jerusalem mayor's office explained that the car park is situated in a location with a concentration of  tourists and businesses, frequented by tens of thousands of visitors, and is essential for economic development.

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