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Police under fire for ending musical prayer service in Bnei Brak

Police are coming under fire from ultra-Orthodox politicians and media outlets after entering an apartment in Bnei Brak to stop a musical prayer service that was being broadcast live on the internet.

In video of the incident, a police officer can be seen climbing down from a ladder to a balcony outside an apartment in which Hasidic singers Yoeli and Ruli Dikman were performing.

The officer walks past them to open the door to let other policemen into the apartment, before returning to take the microphone and unplug the musical equipment.

Video from another angle shows a group of officers repeatedly ringing the doorbell and knocking on the door of the apartment.

“This break-in is outrageous and unacceptable,” Bnei Brak Mayor Avraham Rubinstein says in response.

Kikar HaShabbat, an ultra-Orthodox news site on which the prayers were being broadcast, accused the police of “brutally” breaking up the service.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan says he received dozens of complaints about the incident and asked police to look into the matter. He also says people should refrain from judgment based solely on the video.

Police say officers were sent to the apartment following complaints about excessive noise coming from speakers on a balcony. After the officers left, police say, the noise resumed and because no one opened the door, the officer had to enter the apartment through the balcony.