A Yedioth Ahronoth photographer was injured on Monday after haredim hurled stones at Be Free Israel activists and journalists covering a Sukkot event in Jerusalem. Atta Awisat sustained a light head injury outside the Toldos Aharon yeshiva.
Members of the Be Free Israel movement, promoting separation of religion and state in Israel, claim they arrived at the Mea Shearim neighborhood in Jerusalem to check whether a partition separating men and women had been removed, in accordance with a High Court ruling.
Last week, the Toldos Aharon Hassidic movement announced that it will not enforce strict modesty rules and gender separation following a petition filed with the High Court of Justice by Councilwoman Rachel Azaria.
The activists said that upon their arrival at the neighborhood they were pelted with stones and other objects.
"There was a huge commotion and the photographer immediately fell to the ground," the movement's operations officer Eyal Akerman said. "The photographer and a female journalist stayed to receive medical attention but we fled the scene."
Akerman claimed that two men and two women from the movement had arrived at the area. "When we came into the street we saw that there was de facto separation between men and women in the guise of a security fence."
Be Free Israel director Mickey Gitzin said, "A year ago the High Court of Justice ruled that there is no room for events in which women are excluded. We expect the prime minister to make it clear that red lines exist also in issues like women's exclusion. Israel has not only external threats, like the Iranian bomb."
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