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Ultra-Orthodox anti-draft protesters clash with police in Jerusalem

Officers use water cannons and cavalry to disperse crowd blocking traffic at entrance to city; video shows officer knocking demonstrator to the ground and kneeling on his head

Ultra-Orthodox Jews clash with police as they protest against the arrest of an IDF draft-dodger, in Jerusalem, March 6, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Ultra-Orthodox Jews clash with police as they protest against the arrest of an IDF draft-dodger, in Jerusalem, March 6, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Hundreds of ultra-Orthodox men and police clashed during a protest in Jerusalem on Sunday following the arrest of an IDF draft-dodger.

In a statement, police said the crowd gathered at the entrance to the city and blocked the Jerusalem light rail and cars on the road.

“Police forces are working in the area to maintain public order and direct traffic,” they said.

Seven demonstrators were detained, police added.

Officers used water cannons and horse-mounted officers to disperse the crowd.

A video from the scene apparently showed an officer slamming a protester’s head onto the pavement and then kneeling on it.

The officer, named by several media outlets as Yossi Tzarfati, has recently been indicted after he allegedly broke the nose of a handcuffed man.

In recent years, there have been several large protests against the Israel Defense Forces draft by an extremist non-Zionist sect, known as the Jerusalem Faction, blocking traffic in Jerusalem and elsewhere.

Many in the ultra-Orthodox community shun the mandatory military service that applies to most Israelis, and the community has historically enjoyed blanket exemptions from the army in favor of yeshiva studies.

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