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Anti-draft ultra-Orthodox Protests Shut Down Jerusalem in 'Day of Rage'; 120 Arrested

Jerusalem light rail comes to a halt as thousands of ultra-Orthodox demonstrators protest the arrests of two yeshiva students charged with draft evasion
Police arrested some 120 ultra-Orthodox demonstrators in Jerusalem and the nearby city of Beit Shemesh on Thursday during a protest against the arrests of two yeshiva students charged with draft evasion. 
Thousands of protesters blocked downtown Jerusalem for hours, obstructing traffic to the central bus station and the light rail, and blocked other major roads and highways around the country.
The dubbed "Jerusalem faction" of non-Hasidic ultra-Orthodox kicked off their declared "day of rage" earlier on Thursday morning with a demonstration on highway Route 446, blocking the road near Modi'in Ilit northwest of Jerusalem.
After the arrest of the students, who were sentenced to 20 days in military prison, the leader of the Jerusalem faction, Rabbi Shmuel Auerbach, ordered his followers to protest. Hundreds of people blocked central roads in Jerusalem and Bnei Brak for two days, clashing with drivers and police officers. Dozens of demonstrators were arrested. Following two days of demonstrating, leaders declared a “day of rage” Thursday.
“The masses of the House of Israel will not rest or remain quiet until the plague of the draft decree that hovers of the heads of yeshiva students is removed,” the group said in a statement ahead of Thursday's action. “The entire exile will burn like a bonfire.”

Aaron Rabinowitz
Haaretz Contributor
read more: https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.818014

Anti draft ultra Orthodox Protests

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Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police

The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.802141

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