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Israel: Orthodox Jews close Jerusalem streets in protest against army conscription

A group of Ultra Orthodox Jews stage a protest against the compulsory military service in Jerusalem, Israel on 19 October 2017 [İsrail Polisi - Handout/Anadolu Agency]
A group of Ultra Orthodox Jews stage a protest against the compulsory military service in Jerusalem, Israel on 19 October 2017 [İsrail Polisi - Handout/Anadolu Agency]

Hundreds of ultra-Orthodox Haredi Jews in Israel protested against a law that forces them to serve in the army yesterday.

Groups had declared yesterday a "Day of Anger" during which demonstrations would be held throughout the country to cause disruption, including obstructing roads in Jerusalem, in protest against laws which force them to enlist in the army.

At the demonstration, a rabbi said ultra-Orthodox Jews would rather die than serve in the army.

On Wednesday, Israeli police arrested nine demonstrators outside the Magistrate's Court in Jerusalem and two in Ma'aleh Adumim settlement during clashes.

"The masses in Israel will not calm down until the plague of the forced army draft that hovers over the heads of religious school students is removed," he said.

Read: Flyer instructs Orthodox Jews to murder female Israeli soldiers

"This is an irresponsible decision and there will be repercussions. Today we will demonstrate and protest against the abuse of innocent young people by the authorities who have done nothing but learn the Torah," he added.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews have been protesting in Israel since February after the government amended a law forcing them to conscribe for army service.

Haredi Jews had been exempt from military service since the establishment of Israel.

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