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Israel: 4 arrested over calls for bus gender segregation

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Haredi men allegedly hire two secular teenagers to stand near Dung Gate with megaphone, call for women to board back of bus.

Haredi man near a bus

Photo: (Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

 

Police arrested two additional suspects in the case of two youths who were calling for segregation between the genders outside Jerusalem's Dung Gate Monday morning.

The two teenagers, secular Jewish youths aged 16 and 17, were alleged to have stood near a bus stop and called through a megaphone for women to board buses through the back door. Police initially suspected they were hired by haredi (ultra-Orthodox) extremists.

During a subsequent investigation, the youths identified the two haredi men who allegedly paid them NIS 25 per hour to publicly call for segregation. Police arrested the two additional suspects.

Late last year, the issue of gender segregation on buses and other public arenas came into the limelight following a number of public incidents and drawing ire and denouncements from public officials across the political spectrum and even from Israel's chief Ashkenazi rabbi, Yona Metzger.

While enforced gender segregation is not legal in Israel and haredi bus lines are technically segregated on a voluntary basis, the practice has come under fire over coercion that takes place.

http://www.jpost.com/NationalNews/Article.aspx?id=265361