Policeman questioned for assaulting haredi protester

Officer questioned after police receive video showing him shoving haredi protester at demonstration against arrest of draft dodger.

Gary Willig ,

Demonstrators in Jerusalem
Demonstrators in Jerusalem

The Israel police have summoned an officer for questioning after a video surfaced showing the officer shoving a protester at a haredi protest against the arrest of a yeshiva student who refuses to enlist in the IDF, despite having received draft orders, Channel 2 reported.

The protests were coordinated by members of the ‘Yerushalmi Faction’, a Litvish movement led by Rabbi Shmuel Auerbach that is staunchly opposed to haredi enlistment in the IDF.

A riot police officer was summoned Thursday on suspicion of assaulting a haredi protester Tuesday. Police had been summoned to a haredi demonstration in Jerusalem. A video taken at the scene showed the officer shoving a protester and knocking him over. The officer was released after being questioned.

Hundreds of haredi draft opponents gathered Thursday afternoon at sites across Israel to protest the recent arrest of the yeshiva student who refuses to enlist, despite having received draft orders.

Protesters blocked the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway at the Latrun Junction near Modiin, shutting down traffic towards the capital.

Traffic was also blocked at the Bar Ilan intersection in Jerusalem and on Rabbi Akiva Street in Bnei Brak. Demonstrators also shut down Nahar Hayarden Street in Beit Shemesh.

Police clashed with demonstrators, arresting 9 in Beit Shemesh, and 22 in Jerusalem.

A recorded message distributed Thursday morning urged supporters of the Yerushalmi Faction to join the protests.

“An outrage has been committed in Israel! The entire Diaspora is on fire! Because of the utter shamelessness of the army authorities in continuing to hold this great hero [the yeshiva student] behind bars, and in keeping with the clear and determined orders of our rabbi [Shmuel Auerbach], we will all go out to defend with our bodies to ensure that the remnant of Jacob (Jews, ed.) will not be lost.”