INTRODUCTION: Violent clashes have occurred between Israeli police and a Jewish religious sect protesting about the excavation of an archaeological site in Jerusalem.
SV PAN Ultra Orthodox Jewish leaders walk up to UN building
SV United Nations' Truce Supervision Organisation sign
SV Message being handed over
SCU Rabbi Hirsch comments
GV Demonstrators at the site
SV PAN From police to demonstrators (2 shots)
SV Demonstrators pushing police lines then being baton charged (4 shots)
SPEECH ON CASSETTE (TRANSCRIPT)
HIRSCH: "We want the Jewish Holy Sites to be supervised by the United Nations and the custodianship of these sites be taken away from these Jewish imitators who have no ties at all with the Jewish religion and transferred to Jewish religionites."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: Violent clashes have occurred between Israeli police and a Jewish religious sect protesting about the excavation of an archaeological site in Jerusalem. Following the clashes the Israeli Government called a halt to work on the site.
SYNOPSIS: The Ultra Orthodox Jews of the Netorei Karta sect say the excavation of the ancient city of David violates medieval Jewish cemeteries.
The sect has petitioned the United Nations too take over the running of Israel's Holy sites from the Government, as Rabbi Moshe Hirsch explained:
The group then marched to the site to protest. The archaeologist in charge, Dr. Yigal Shiloh, has denied finding any trace of Jewish cemeteries. But the demonstrators attempted to storm the police lines.
The police resisted, and a clash ensued resulting in twenty two arrests and two injuries. For the Israeli Government the whole affair has been an embarrassment. Mr. Begin's Coalition Government relies on the support of a clergy-based minority party, and the Chief Rabbi has threatened to excommunicate the Minister of Education, Zevulun Hammer, if he lets the dig proceed. However, secular Israelis, including a significant part of the Government, have said pressure from religious groups should have been resisted. The Government has now called a temporary halt to the dig, and it is left to the High Court to decide on the archaeologists' appeal next Friday (4 September).