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Clashes, 46 arrests in Haredi anti-conscription protest in Jerusalem

Orthodox Jews protest against compulsory military service in Israel on 8 June 2017 in New York, US [Mohammed Elshamy/Anadolu Agency]
Orthodox Jews protest against compulsory military service in Israel [Mohammed Elshamy/Anadolu Agency]

Dozens of Haredim (ultra-Orthodox Jews) were arrested during anti-conscription protests in Jerusalem yesterday, reported Haaretz.

According to the paper, “hundreds of members of an extremist ultra-Orthodox group known as the Jerusalem Faction demonstrated in the city Thursday afternoon against the draft”, with some clashing with police.

Forty-six protesters were reportedly arrested by Israeli police, “some for blocking the road and the light-rail, others on warrants for draft evasion”. Police also “used water cannons and other measures to disperse the crowd.”

Protest organisers, the Committee to Save the Torah World, stated: “Following the criminal arrest of yeshiva student Eitan Rada, who was jailed for refusing to report at the enlistment office as part of our battle against the enlistment decrees, our great Torah scholars have ordered people to go out and announce a huge protest in the streets of the city.”

Read: Israel police and ultra-orthodox Jews clash over conscription

“The Haredi public understands today more than ever that the targets and quotas of the recent draconian draft laws are a terrible decree of extermination whose goal is to destroy and secularise the ultra-Orthodox community,” the statement continued.

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