Haredi demonstration
Haredi demonstrationFLASH90

Israel Police on Tuesday night attempted to arrest an resident of Jerusalem's haredi Mea Shearim neighborhood for anti-draft activism.

Dozens of neighborhood residents heard the news via a voice message on WhatsApp, and arrived at the scene in minutes. These residents began to protest the arrest, and in doing so clashed with the police.

However, the wanted suspect was not at home when the police arrived. As a result, the officers gave up on an extended search and left without their target.

From the first rabbi's house, Israel Police moved on to another activist, this one associated with the Eida Haharedit. This man was found to be at home and arrested, as was a haredi businessman who campaigned against drafting haredim into the IDF.

"Israel Police arrived this morning at the Mea Shearim home of a suspect who took part in last week's rioting and violent disruptions," an Israel Police spokesman said. "Officers arrived at the suspect's home armed with a search warrant and an instruction to arrest him."

"The suspect was located and arrested."

Explaining the incidents, the police spokesman added that "during the arrest, dozens of haredim gathered around calling out slogans and throwing stones and other objects at the police officers. They also blocked roads with trash cans, in an attempt to prevent the police from accomplishing their tasks."

"Israel Police officers arrested an additional suspect for disruptions and attempting to prevent an arrest. The suspects were brought for questioning."

Some haredim do serve in the IDF, and haredi soldiers are becoming more common and more accepted. However, extremist haredi groups still oppose - often violently - the removal of a legal clause which enabled haredi men to receive exemptions based on their status as yeshiva students.