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Israel’s Haredi Jews protest against military inscription

Jews gather to read prayers and perform Tashlich, a symbolic gesture of removing past sins [Mahfouz Abu Turk/Apaimages]
Jews gather to read prayers and perform Tashlich, a symbolic gesture of removing past sins [Mahfouz Abu Turk/Apaimages]

Fierce clashes have erupted in Israel as the Haredi community came out in opposition of the recruitment of their youth in the army, Arabs48.com reported.

The Jerusalem Post reported that hundreds of Haredi Jews took over major roads in Jerusalem last week and blocked traffic. Police used water cannons to disperse them.

The protests are an annual fixture in Israel since a law was passed stating that the Haredi community must be part of the compulsory recruitment in the Israeli army. They had previously been exempt from service.

The Jerusalem Post said that the protests were organised and led by a group known as the Jerusalem Faction, an offshoot of the main ultra-Orthodox political group that has taken a more radical stance on the issue of military service.

It reported a researcher at the Israel Democracy Institute saying that the Jerusalem Faction constitutes approximately 10 per cent of the Ashkenazi Haredi community and 6.5 per cent of the overall Haredi community, including the Sephardi Haredim.

Jerusalem Post reported a Haredi protester saying the Israeli army is the “melting pot” where everyone loses his identity; however, “we have our own specific identity, and we only want to be Haredi and not anything else”.

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