Hareidi Draft Evader Freed
Hareidi yeshiva student Eliyahu Cohen, whose arrest following his evasion of military service caused large scale rioting in the hareidi sector, was freed from military jail Sunday.
His release was made possible by the intervention of the venerated Zionist rabbi, Rabbi Haim Druckman, who has been conducting contacts on the matter with the IDF's Personnel Department in recent days.
Hareidi MKs had previously tried to bring about Cohen's release. First, two MKs from United Torah Judaism (UTJ) tried, and then it was the turn of Shas chairman MK Aryeh Deri – who announced that “a quiet understanding” had been reached that Cohen would be allowed to go home for the Pesach Seder.
MKs Meir Porush and Yaakov Litzman (United Torah Judaism, or UTJ) have also been trying to secure the young man's release for the Seder.
Porush told Police Commissioner Major General Yohanan Danino that the police have been evading their responsibility in the matter and saying it was under the authority of the military police.
"The result of the arrests will be events that are not under the aegis of the military courts,” he warned, “when the state finds itself in a whirlwind of riots and protests, so that in the end, it will be the civilian police that have to intervene for the sake of the public peace.”
Hareidim have been planning a slowdown of traffic on the roads leading into Jerusalem to protest the young man's incarceration on Pesach. His freedom apparently means that all of the protests have been scuttled.