After draft riot, Jerusalem haredim charged with assaulting police

(JTA) — Israeli prosecutors indicted two haredi Orthodox men for assaulting police officers called to the scene of a mob attack on a haredi soldier in Jerusalem.

The two men, Joseph Braun and Jacob Krischavski, were charged on Thursday with attacking several police officers on Tuesday during a riot that erupted in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Meah Shearim. If convicted, the defendants could face at least three years in prison.

The attack came two days after Israel’s Knesset approved a proposal to draft haredi men into the Israeli Defense Forces. A small number of haredi leaders have allowed and in some cases encouraged enlistment, but the majority have resisted the draft. The proposed law has sparked numerous protests.

Another haredi soldier was assaulted in Jerusalem on Thursday, this time in the neighborhood of Shmuel Hanavi, situated north of Meah Shearim. Assailants threw objects at the soldier from a van, according to NRG, the news site of the Maariv daily.

On Tuesday, officers were called to Meah Shearim after dozens of haredi men intimidated a haredi soldier. The men gathered outside the office of the uncle of the soldier, who came to visit his uncle during a short leave from the army, according to the indictment filed on Thursday by the Jerusalem prosecutor’s office with the city’s Magistrate’s Court.

The soldier, who does not live in Jerusalem, was wearing a uniform and a black kipah. Several dozen men gathered around him and hurled garbage as he was walking to the office. He entered the office, changed to civilian clothes and called police as the crowd chanted insults outside.

The two defendants and several other individuals hurled stones, metal bars and water buckets at the police. Braun and Krischavski, both in their early 20s, were charged with aggravated assault of a police officer, obstructing a police officer and rioting.

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