JERUSALEM (JTA) — At least six protesters were arrested and a police officer was wounded in demonstrations protesting the arrest of a yeshiva student for ignoring a draft notice.
The demonstrations took place Sunday in Jerusalem and other cities with large haredi Orthodox populations, including Bnei Brak, Modiin Illit and Beit Shemesh. The hundreds of protesters blocked busy intersections during the demonstrations.
The yeshiva student has been arrested several times, the first time in March, for ignoring his call-up notice. He is being held in a military prison and reportedly has begun a hunger strike, according to The Jerusalem Post.
The student reportedly is affiliated with the Jerusalem Faction, a non-Hasidic haredi faction led by Rabbi Shmuel Auerbach, who has ordered his students to ignore draft notices.
Under a law passed in March, haredi men will be criminally charged for evading the draft, but the penalties will not go into effect until 2017.
The Tal Law, which allowed haredi men to defer army service indefinitely, was invalidated by the Supreme Court in February 2012 and expired in August that year.