JERUSALEM — Thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews pelted passing cars with stones and garbage on Saturday, demanding that neighborhood streets be closed for the Jewish Sabbath.
Men dressed in traditional black hats and coats and women wearing long dresses chanted "Shabbes, Shabbes," or Sabbath, as they marched along the main road in the Sanhedria neighborhood.
Some shouted profanities at policemen, reporters and photographers, whom they accused of dishonoring the Sabbath by writing, photographing or riding in cars or on horseback.
Police officers drove back the crowds with water cannons that sprayed blue dye. At least one man received a head injury from a police baton.
Israel Television said police arrested 11 protesters.
Such demonstrations have been a frequent Saturday event in the neighborhood. But the protesters hope they are closer to their goals under new Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The left-wing, secular Meretz Party had planned to stage a counter-protest on Saturday but canceled it after President Ezer Weizman promised to arrange negotiations between the sides.
Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau had asked the ultra-Orthodox to refrain from the protest on Saturday, warning it could lead to violations of the Sabbath and to bloodshed.