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8 Mar, 2019 03:35

‘To prison but never to the army!’ Jerusalem police crush ultra-Orthodox Jews’ protest (VIDEOS)

 ‘To prison but never to the army!’ Jerusalem police crush ultra-Orthodox Jews’ protest (VIDEOS)

At least 30 ultra-Orthodox Jews have been arrested after police cracked down on hundreds of Haredi men blocking the streets of Jerusalem, with some demonstrators insulting the officers by calling them Nazis. ​

Some 500 people belonging to the Jerusalem Faction movement clashed with police on Thursday as security forces tried to clear the crowd that blocked traffic and light rail service, in protest at the detention of an IDF draft-dodger. 

Dressed in black hats and long black jackets, members of the Haredi community accused the government of attempting to suppress religion. “The draft is religious persecution,” they shouted. “To prison but never to the army!”

​Authorities were forced to deploy water cannon and horse-mounted officers to clear the roads of the Holy City, to the taunts from the protesters calling them ‘Nazis’. Videos of the crackdown showed police using quite brutal tactics to get control of the situation. At least 30 men were detained, following scuffles.

Members of rabbinical institutions called 'yeshivas' may be excused from mandatory military service on condition that they are engaged in religious study. The men must, however, report to the army to receive a deferral of service, which Jerusalem Faction leaders have defied on numerous occasions, resulting in arrests and clashes with the authorities.

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