Haredi anti-draft activists claim victory after protests

Police won't transfer draft dodgers to military police, despite regulations to the contrary.

Yoel Domb ,

Police remove demonstrator
Police remove demonstrator
Jonathan Sindel, Flash 90

The Yerushalmi Faction, led by Rabbi Shmuel Auerbach, have scored their first major victory in the struggle against the draft of yeshiva students.

According to a report by Behadrei Haredim, the police have decided not to transfer draft dodgers to the army even when they did not apply for a deferment.

The extremist Yerushalmi Faction maintains that yeshiva students should have no contact whatsoever with the army and should not to present themselves to IDF enlistment offices when called to do so. Most haredi men register for draft deferments during their yeshiva studies.

During the last few months, the Yerushalmi Faction has conducted dozens of demonstrations around the country, blocking major intersections and clashing sometimes even violently with police. During the course of the demonstrations tens of youths were arrested including many who are defined as deserters since they did not register for deferral. Despite this and in contravention of their own regulations, Israeli police are not transferring the draft dodgers to army custody.

The police regulations state that a person to whom army directives apply or who is a deserter or draft dodger has to report to the army police, who are then supposed to take him into custody within three hours. If he is not transferred to army police during this time, the police are allowed to release him.