Arrest of fake 'haredi' draft-dodger triggers riot

Haredi extremists clash with police over arrest of 'haredi yeshiva student' detained after drunken brawl in Eilat.

Haim Lev, | updated: 18:09

Arrest (illustrative)
Arrest (illustrative)
Flash 90

Activists from the haredi "Jerusalem Faction" clashed last week with police during a protest against the arrest of a "yeshiva student" earlier that week.

Just a day later however, it became clear that the suspected was not in fact a yeshiva student at all.

He was arrested after taking part in a brawl between several other youths and a local taxi driver. When police officers arrived, they found that the youth in question was enlisted as a "full-time yeshiva student" and had been ignoring his army summons, and handed him over to army authorities.

Police later recounted that they received a call just after midnight from a taxi driver in Eilat in southern Israel, who claimed that a group of youths were refusing to pay him the full fee for their journey. 

Officers who arrived on site quickly found that the group of apparently secular youths were making their way from the "Crazy Elephant" club to the local pubs in the tourist area of the resort city, and were withholding a grand total of five shekels (around $1.30) from the driver.

The taxi driver was told to lodge a complaint at the local police station, after police took down the details of the parties involved in the dispute. 

Back at the station, the officer processing the case discovered that one of the youths involved was evading his military service, and he was promptly arrested.

But under questioning, the suspect insisted he was a full-time yeshiva student eligible for an automatic military exemption.

At the "Crazy Elephant" yeshiva, perhaps?