Dozens held as ultra-Orthodox protest army draft
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Dozens held as ultra-Orthodox protest army draft

Demonstrators block major highways, set fires after arrests of four yeshiva students for evading IDF conscription

Tamar Pileggi is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men protest the jailing of four yeshiva students who failed to comply with a recruitment order, in Jerusalem's Mea Shearim neighborhood on February 1, 2015. (Photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men protest the jailing of four yeshiva students who failed to comply with a recruitment order, in Jerusalem's Mea Shearim neighborhood on February 1, 2015. (Photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

At least 46 ultra-Orthodox protesters were arrested and a police officer was injured during anti-draft protests throughout Israel Sunday night and Monday.

Hundreds of protesters set fire to dumpsters and blocked major roads and intersections during Monday morning rush hour traffic to protest last week’s arrest of four yeshiva students for desertion, after they failed to to report for their scheduled IDF enlistment.

The protesters, who held signs praising the yeshiva students, demanded their immediate release.

The students were following orders of the radical Rabbi Shmuel Auerbach, who has called on his students not to report to the IDF enlistment office when drafted.

According to police, a border police officer was injured after being hit in the face with a metal bar by a demonstrator in Ashdod.

הפגנה אלימה באשדוד: 40 מפגינים נעצרו, שוטר מג"ב נפצע(צילוםף חטיבת דובר המשטרה)לכתבה המלאה >>> http://www.kikar.co.il/162816.html

Posted by ‎חדשות כיכר השבת‎ on pirmdiena, 2015. gada 2. februāris

Demonstrations took place around Jerusalem, Ashdod, Elad and the ultra-Orthodox Tel Aviv suburb of Bnei Brak, resulting in heavy traffic delays on routes 1, 443 and 444.

On Sunday night, three ultra-Orthodox men protesting the arrests in Jerusalem were arrested for breaching public order.

Yeshiva students, who up until recently received an exemption from mandatory IDF service, are now conscripted into the military under a new draft law passed by the Knesset last year.

Under the new legislation, ultra-Orthodox men can be criminally charged and imprisoned for draft evasion.

The ultra-Orthodox community has vehemently opposed the new measures and protested the new draft law several times in recent years, including a March 2014 demonstration in Jerusalem which drew some 300,000 people.

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