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Ultra-Orthodox Jews protest against Israeli army conscription
BY 2017-03-29 09:16:14

JERUSALEM, March 28 (Xinhua) -- Thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews rallied in Jerusalem on Tuesday to demonstrate against military service amidst a wave of protests against a compulsory military draft.

The protesters, dressed in their traditional black suits, took the streets of central Jerusalem, while police deployed dozens of officers to avoid riots.

A young man at the rally told the Hebrew-language Ynet news site that "it is better to die than going to the army."

The ultra-Orthodox society fears that the secular environment in the military bases might tempt their young men to abandon their traditional religious ways.

The protest was triggered by the recent arrest of a rabbi's son who refused to report to duty.

Military service, two years and eight months for men and two years for women, is obligatory for most Jews in Israel.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews have been exempt from this duty for years.

Men who reach the age of 18 must prove they are engaged in full-time religious studies whereas women are routinely exempted.

Frustration in secular Israeli society increased as they demanded that ultra-Orthodox share the responsibility of military service.

(Editor:Li Zhaoqi) (From:xinhua)
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