Ultra-Orthodox Jews protest Jerusalem parking lot

July 16, 2011 - 4:14 PM
APTOPIX Mideast Israel Religious Protest

An Ultra-Orthodox Jew makes a derogatory gesture to media and police, due to them working on a Saturday covering and policing the protest, at a demonstration against a municipal parking lot that is open on the Jewish Sabbath, in Jerusalem Saturday, July 16, 2011. Ultra-Orthodox activists have repeatedly staged protests since the parking lot opened two years ago, saying operating it on a Saturday is a desecration of the Sabbath, Judaism's biblically-mandated day of rest. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

JERUSALEM (AP) — Police are preventing hundreds of ultra-Orthodox Jews from blocking a main street in protest against a Jerusalem municipal parking lot that is open on the Jewish Sabbath.

Ultra-Orthodox activists have repeatedly staged protests since the parking lot opened two years ago. They say operating it on a Saturday is a descretation of the Sabbath, Judaism's biblically mandated day of rest.

On Saturday, protesters gathered at a main junction, screamed at police officers and pelted them with water bags. Police stopped them from blocking traffic.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews make up a third of Jerusalem's more than 700,000 residents.

Most work places in Jerusalem's Jewish neighborhoods shut down for the Sabbath, which lasts from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday.