Ultra-Orthodox Jews block Jerusalem roads in draft protests
JERUSALEM (AP) — Thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews from a radical sect are again blocking roads in Jerusalem bringing traffic to a standstill and scuffling with police and passers-by. Monday's protest was the latest by the Peleg Yerushalmi group after some of its members were arrested when they did not go through procedures for draft exemptions granted to the ultra-Orthodox community.
Men in black hats and side locks mobbed intersections, preventing public buses and cars from moving. Israeli TV showed footage of some men spitting and pushing a woman while yelling obscenities at her at a recent protest.
Police used a water cannon to disperse protesters and arrested 12 people. Exemptions have long caused friction in Israeli society as most Jews are drafted after high school for three years.