Hundreds of Israeli ultra-Orthodox Jews protest army draft

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli police say they have arrested 40 people in protests by a fringe group within Israel’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish community.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld says about 2,000 people protested on Thursday in Jerusalem, where they blocked a main intersection. Some protesters held signs reading “draft equals religious persecution.” Others set trash bins on fire.
The demonstrators are angry that some young men from within their community were arrested after they refused to be drafted into Israel’s compulsory military service.
Rosenfeld says police broke up a similar protest near the city of Modiin earlier in the day and that they will use “whatever means necessary” to break up the “illegal” demonstration.
Many of Israel’s ultra-Orthodox community believe young men shouldn’t have to enlist, saying they serve the nation through study and prayer.