Charedi Mafia: Death Threats, Vandalism, and Protests Against Cell Phone Stores

An Ultra Orthodox Jewish man speaks on a cellphone as he looks at a view of Jerusalem, near the Old City, on January 7, 2019. Photo by Hadas Parush/Flash90 *** Local Caption *** חרדי גבר מדבר טלפון פלאפון חכם סלולרי אילוסטרציה ירושלים עיר עתיקה

ISRAEL (VINnews) — The Charedi “Cell Phone Mafia” has been wreaking endless havoc on stores in Jerusalem and Bnei Brak. Extremists have vandalized and threatened phone stores, in a pressure campaign to force them to comply with the guidelines of the Communications Vaad.

B’Chadrei Charedim has reported multiple instances of harassment, threats, and vandalism against stores and owners.

In one piece of surveillance video Wednesday, a thug was seen gluing shut the lock of “Ink Print”, a phone accessory store in Bnei Brak. The owner was forced to delay opening for two hours until the damage could be repaired.

In another piece of footage, a vandal placed paskvillim on the front of a store in the middle of the night, and filled the doorway with paper.

The owner of “Giant Cellular” in Jerusalem was threatened multiple times, including death threats. An unknown individual called him claiming to know his home address, and threatened to come to his home and kill him. They also threatened to burn down his store in the middle of the night.

That is the most recent development, following a number of protests which have been held against that store in recent weeks, despite the fact that they do not sell smartphones.

The store owner told the Israeli news outlet, “I do not sell any smartphones or any devices that are not accepted by the Charedi community. I just refuse to comply with the strict criteria of the Vaad, which would bring about a financial loss.”

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