JERUSALEM (VINnews) — During the last two years violent demonstrations have been taking place on an almost weekly basis against the construction of the light rail system on Bar Ilan street in Jerusalem. Fed up with the traffic snarls, delays in schedule and millions of shekels worth of damage, the Jerusalem Municipality and the Moriah company performing the construction have sued 17 of the main demonstrators for 300,000 NIS each in damages.
The entire 5 million NIS suit was submitted by the municipality against the demonstrators who blocked roads and tractors even though they did not cause physical damage to infrastructure. The Moriah company hopes that the suit will deter demonstrators from continuing to assail the light rail construction.
The indictment states that “It is impossible to understand the wanton motives which are at the basis of the ‘group of vandals’, unless the accused and their friends are acting from hooliganistic and extortionist motives which apparently will provide the leaders of the group with certain secret personal benefits.
“In this framework, the vandals cause harm and total destruction of fences, building equipment, tools and other infrastructure. The vandals gather near the construction route for hours, near the equipment and vehicles being used by the plaintiff and even crawl under them in an attempt to harm equipment, stop the work from being completed and delay it as much as possible.”
The prosecution also issued an indictment against a 20-year-old Ashdod resident who jumped into a pit where work was being done during a demonstration. The accused sat in the pit in order to prevent the work. The accused, who was holding a talis and tefilin and cigarettes in preparation for his arrest, did not leave the scene despite police requests that he evacuate. The accused smoked a cigarette and read a book while sitting in the pit until he was forcibly removed by police.
The indictment states that the accused trespassed in order to perform a crime and prevented police from maintaining public order.