Forty ultra-Orthodox Jews arrested after protest in Ashdod

Roughly 150 ultra-Orthodox Jews demonstrated on Monday morning in Ashdod, in protest of the arrests of four yeshiva students for desertion from the IDF. The protest did not have a permit, and forty demonstrators were arrested during clashes with police. One police officer was lightly wounded.

The protesters, blocking a central intersection in Ashdod, called for the immediate release of the jailed yeshiva students. The students were arrested last week after they failed to report to the IDF draft office. The students were following orders from Rabbi Shmuel Auerbach, and failed to report to the draft office to receive exemptions from army service, to which they are entitled as yeshiva students.

On Sunday night, some of Auerbach’s students held a similar protest in Jerusalem.

A spokesman for the Israel Police said that the police "allows for legitimate, protests authorized by law, unlike this demonstration. The police will continue to strictly enforce the law against those who act violently and disrupt the public order.


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