Photo: News 24
Demonstration in Jerusalem
Photo: News 24

Dozens arrested as Haredi protest IDF draft for yeshiva students

Demonstrations held in Jerusalem, Ashdod, Hadera and Bnei Brak; 40 arrested after mass protest in Ashdod; two policemen lightly hurt.

Dozens were arrested Monday morning when hundreds of Haredi men protested across Israel, blocking roads in protest against the arrest of yeshiva students who had been classed as deserters after deliberately missing their IDF enlistment.



Demonstrations were held in Jerusalem, Ashdod, Hadera, on the outskirts of Bnei Brak, at the entrance to the religious community of El'ad and at Shiloh junction. 


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Protesters clashed with police in various locations, and some 50 people were arrested. A Border Police officer was hit in the head with an iron bar, sustaining light wounds. In Jerusalem, protesters also stole a radio from a policeman.


Protest in Jerusalem (Photo: News 24) (Photo: News24)
Protest in Jerusalem (Photo: News 24)


The demonstration in the capital was attended by the Jerusalem branch, an extremist Lithuanian Haredi group, who held up signs reading, "Going to recruitment offices is entering enemy territory". A text message was sent to thousands of yeshiva students Monday morning saying, "those who have not yet been arrested must continue protesting – we cannot remain silent about the arrest of the yeshiva members".


The protesters used garbage dumpsters to block major intersections in the ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods of Jerusalem, including Nordau Square and part of Golda Meir Street. Police removed the roadblocks and arrested three protesters for disorderly conduct. The three join three others who were arrested last night at a protest in Kikar HaShabbat (Shabbat Square).


Protest in Hadera (Photo: Menny Naim)  (Photo: Menny Naim)
Protest in Hadera (Photo: Menny Naim)


"We demand the abolition of the decree on the conscription of yeshiva students," Shlomo Rosenthal of the Committee to Save the Torah World told Ynet.


"We demand that they stop arresting yeshiva students. We will step up the fight in Israel and around the world. To the secular public we say one thing: We do not interfere in your lives, do not interfere in ours."


In Ashdod, 40 people were arrested after demonstrators sat down at the intersection of Moshe Sneh and Bnei Brit streets. One policeman was slightly hurt, and was treated at the scene by Magen David Adom paramedics.



Haredim protest in Ashdod    (קרדיט: משטרת ישראל)

Haredim protest in Ashdod   (Video: Israel Police)


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Near Bnei Brak, four people were detained on for causing a disturbance. In El'ad, several dozen students demonstrated and set fire to tires.


Jack Cohen, a yeshiva student who participated in the Ashdod demonstration, told Ynet: "We cannot join the army. It is a place of transgressions and it nullifies the Torah."


"We opposed the establishment of the state," he said. "From our perspective, the United Nations could rule here."


פרסום ראשון: 02.02.15, 13:06
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