Hundreds of ultra-Orthodox Block Roads in Israel to Protest Army Draft

The protest was spurred by the arrest of a yeshiva student who did not arrange his exemption from enlistment

Policemen drag demonstrators who blocked the road in Bnei Brak during a protest against IDF conscription, on August 6, 2018.
Tomer Appelbaum

Hundreds of members of an extremist faction of ultra-Orthodox known as the Jerusalem Faction demonstrated Monday in the Israeli ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Barak against enlistment in the Israeli military and to protest the arrest of a yeshiva student who had failed to arrange his exemption from army service with the army.

The police arrested at least 19 demonstrators, some of whom tried to block main roads during heavy traffic.

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"The Israel Police is prepared for the protest and will work to ensure the safety and security of the participants, and no less important - ensure that the protest does not harm the routine of the general public," the police said.

"The Israel Police will not prevent the protest from taking place, with the sincere desire to allow the freedom of speech and protest of any citizen who wishes to do so. Even so, we will not allow any disturbance of order and will act resolutely against violent incidents of any kind."

A similar demonstration took place last week in Jerusalem, which saw 46 demonstrators arrested in clashes with the police. After the arrests, it turned out that some of the demonstrators were deserters. However, the police released them without transferring them to the army.