Anti-draft Extremists Besiege Ultra-orthodox MK at Home

Police extricate Uri Maklev and wife from dozens of protesters shouting 'murderer' at them

Haredi protesters at the home of Haredi MK Uri Maklev, February 13, 2018
קבוצת מחאות החרדי

Dozens of Haredi extremists demonstrated Tuesday morning outside the home of Knesset member Uri Maklev (United Torah Judaism) in the Ramot neighborhood of Jerusalem.

They were protesting the scheduled session of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Tuesday concerning approval of new regulations on the enlistment of religious women into the Israeli army.

The protesters arrived at Maklev’s building on Mirski Street very early, blocked the two exits from the building and did not allow Maklev or his family to leave home.

Large numbers of police arrived and broke through the protesters and extricated Maklev and his wife. In a film clip of the events, police officers can be seen protecting Maklev and his wife while dozens of protesters shout “murderer” at them and try to block their way.

Three demonstrators were arrested by police.

The police said they “acted to restore order and have so far arrested three protesters who blatantly violated public order and interfered with police officers carrying out their duties.” The police said they will continue to act against those who blatantly violate public order and who do not follow instructions from the police, “while being sensitive and taking into consideration every person’s freedom to protest.”

Over the past few weeks, various extremist Haredi activists along with right-wing religious Zionist groups have been conducting a battle against the changes in how religious women are enlisted. They say the IDF is trying to draft more religious women and illegally summoning them to the enlistment offices even after they have filed the necessary forms for an exemption, because they are religious.

These activists have been protesting near the homes of Haredi MKs who have been cooperating with IDF and Defense Ministry officials about the approval of new regulations for the enlistment of religious women.

They have been demonstrating almost every evening in the ultra-Orthodox Mea She’arim neighborhood of Jerusalem. On Monday evening, a large demonstration was held nearby in Shabbat Square in the heart of Jerusalem’s core Haredi neighborhoods, after which the protesters set trash bins on fire all over the area, blocked roads and confronted police.