Clashes erupt during Israeli protest over arrest of ultra-Orthodox draft-dodger


Ultra-Orthodox Israelis have clashes with police during a protest against the arrest of a young student, who had refused to do active duty in the military.

The rally took place in Bnei Brak on Monday, with the protesters blocking the city’s main Jabotinsky Road, and stopping vehicles on the nearby Route 4 Highway, The Times of Israel reported.

The highway stayed blocked for two hours.

During the clashes, Israeli forces were seen dragging some protesters away.

Similar demonstration had taken place in Jerusalem al-Quds on Thursday.

The arrestee, a student from a conservative sect, had followed the orders of his mentors by refusing to sign “draft deferral” papers, thus becoming a draft dodger under Israeli law.

Protest organizers said “the determination of the Haredi public to fight the enlistment decree will not be deterred,” and vowed to “fight in every way the edict that has felled thousands in the spiritual ruin” of the Israeli military.

Ultraorthodox politicians have, meanwhile, threatened to leave the ranks of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling coalition unless a law is passed preventing ultra-orthodox youths from serving in the military.

Hundreds similarly rallied in al-Quds last September to protest active duty, and the regime’s arrest of around 40 people, including the grandson of a famous rabbi, for refusing conscription. The rallies featured considerable violence on the part of both the protesters and regime forces.

Conscription is mandatory for both men and women in Israel, which is in a continuous war with regional countries and clashes with Palestinians in the occupied territories.


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