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11 Dec, 2018 04:15

WATCH Ultra-Orthodox Jews clash with police over military draft (VIDEOS)

WATCH Ultra-Orthodox Jews clash with police over military draft (VIDEOS)

At least 28 Jewish activists protesting against the military draft have been arrested by police in Bnei Brak after protesters disrupted traffic on the main road of the city considered the center of Ultra-Orthodox Judaism.

Scuffles broke out between police and ultra-Orthodox Jews in Bnei Brak as Haredi men tried to disrupt traffic in the city. “We will die and not be drafted,” activist shouted as they staged a massive sit in the middle of Jabotinsky Road. The police would hear none of it, as they proceeded to drag the protesters off the street, footage from the encounter shows. Police on horseback and motorcycles did their best to clear the main road from demonstrators who just refused to leave. At the end of the day, 28 arrests were made.

The rally organized by Yerushalmi Faction movement on Monday afternoon protested over the extension of the arrest of Yitzhak Aryeh, who was detained two weeks ago after failing to appear before the IDF draft board.

Rallying for their traditional right to be exempt from the military service, the activists also slammed the government’s proposed legislation that could change the army enlistment criteria for ultra-Orthodox Jews. Currently they can delay their conscription while they study at rabbinical institutions called 'yeshivas'. While in school they must still, however, register at the recruitment office or face arrests.

The legislation, now being debated by the Israeli lawmakers, could allow the government to set targets for enlistment from the Haredi Jews in accordance with the recommendation of the defense minister. If the Ultra-Orthodox community fails to provide enough servicemen, the government could be allowed to introduce financial penalties on rabbinical schools. Ultra-Orthodox Jews, who make up around 10 percent of the Israeli population, fervently oppose the changes to the legislation that could pass as early as January.

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