Dozens of haredi demonstrators were arrested in Jerusalem Sunday afternoon, as protesters blocked the light rail train and shut down traffic at major intersections.
The protests, organized by the Yerushalmi Faction, were called in response to the continuing detention of draft dodgers from the haredi community.
Led by Rabbi Shmuel Auerbach, the Yerushalmi Faction has opposed any cooperation with IDF draft officials, even for the purposes of draft deferrals for yeshiva students. Most full-time yeshiva students in Israel receive deferrals from mandatory IDF service.
In recent months, the Yerushalmi Faction has organized dozens of protests across the country, with the largest being held near haredi population centers including Jerusalem, Bnei Brak, and Shilat Junction, near the haredi city of Modi’in Illit.
Earlier on Sunday, the Yerushalmi Faction pledged to renew the protests, which have shut down traffic and light rail train service, in response to the arrest of 12 haredi men who were arrested after refusing to report to army enlistment offices.
Organizers say Rabbi Auerbach urged supporters Saturday night “to continue protesting and to go out into the streets of the city, as the draft decree violates all the principles of Judaism."
At least 35 protesters were arrested in the capital, with light rail service disrupted around the Central Bus Station.
Israeli police claimed that some protesters "used violence against" officers during the demonstrations.
“Police units in Jerusalem are dealing with an illegal demonstration by extremists from the haredi community that are blocking roads near the Central Bus Station and causing disturbances to the light rail in Jerusalem,” a police spokesman said. “Police units have been mobilized in the area to respond.”