Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Ultra-Orthodox Jews protest against Israel military service
Thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews took to the streets of Jerusalem on Tuesday to protest against compulsory military service at a time of increased tensions between them and Israeli authorities.
The protesters dressed in the dark suits and hats typical of the ultra-Orthodox community held signs, including those saying "the state of Israel persecutes Jews".
Rabbis addressed the crowd, sometimes in Yiddish, while police deployed heavily in the area.
"It's better to be shot than to go in the army," said one of the protesters, Aaron Roth, 45 and with a long, dark beard.
The protest was organised by particularly hardline ultra-Orthodox who completely reject the Israeli state.
Military service, two years and eight months for men and two years for women, is compulsory for most Jewish Israelis.