Thousands of Ultra-Orthodox Jews Clash with Israeli Police in Jerusalem Protest

Thousands of Jewish ultra-Orthodox men clashed with Israeli police in central Jerusalem on Sunday during a protest against a Supreme Court order for them to begin enlisting for military service. The protest, which started peacefully in an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood, turned violent as the crowd made its way towards central Jerusalem. Protesters threw rocks and attacked the car of an ultra-Orthodox Cabinet minister, prompting the use of water cannons and mounted police to disperse the crowd.

The Supreme Court’s landmark decision last week ordering the government to draft ultra-Orthodox men into military service has sparked resentment among the broader public. Ultra-Orthodox parties have previously secured exemptions for their followers to study in religious seminaries instead of serving in the military. However, the arrangement has faced criticism, particularly during the ongoing war against Hamas, which has resulted in the deaths of over 600 soldiers and the activation of tens of thousands of reservists.

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