Haredim protesting the draft law in Jerusalem city center.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Several hundred haredi protesters, mainly yeshiva students took the streets in Jerusalem on Wednesday afternoon to protest the haredi draft bill.
The demonstrators blocked traffic arteries and light rail tracks at the intersection of Jaffa and Shaarei Yisrael streets in Jerusalem, causing major traffic jams at the entrance to Jerusalem.
Protesting into the evening, so far, 30 have been arrested after clashes broke out between protesters and police forces.
The demonstration was the latest in a long series of such protests by the Jerusalem Faction and other extremist elements which are organized when a yeshiva student associated with one of these groups is arrested and transferred to the military police for refusing to formally obtain their military-service exemption from the IDF.
The current draft bill passed a first reading in July and sets annual targets for haredi enlistment, which increase every year for 10 years, and financial sanctions that reduce the budget for haredi yeshivot each year enlistment targets are not met.
UTJ and Shas object strongly to the principle of the sanctions, while the rabbis of Agudat Yisrael have expressed strong opposition to a clause stipulating that the law would automatically be annulled if enlistment targets are not met for three years in a row.
Jeremy Sharon and Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.
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