Parents face jail over Jewish school segregation

By Jessica Elgot, June 17, 2010
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Protesters are expected to gather in Jerusalem today to march against the Supreme Court's decision.

Protesters are expected to gather in Jerusalem today to march against the Supreme Court's decision.

Tens of thousands of strictly Orthodox Jews marched in Jerusalem today against the proposed integration of Ashkenazi and Mizrahi girls at a religious school.

Israel’s Supreme Court has ruled that Ashkenazi, Mizrahi and Sephardi children must be educated together, and dozens of parents of girls at a school in the West Bank settlement of Emanuel face up to two weeks in jail.

The parents of Ashkenazi children have demanded the other children are educated separately - claiming they do not believe them to be observant enough.

Parents of the 43 girls involved in the case have expressed their delight at the prospect of being imprisoned for their beliefs.

The parents have been ordered to gather at the Jerusalem police head quarters to begin their sentences, although the High Court may allow parents to serve sentences separately, so one can stay home with the children.

Thousands of police have been deployed across the city after riots yesterday evening where Orthodox protesters set fire to bins and threw stones to protest against a hotel construction which they believe will disturb a Jewish burial site.

    Last updated: 4:07pm, June 17 2010