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Ultra-Orthodox Jews block Jerusalem roads in draft protests

October 23, 2017

Ultra Orthodox Jewish youths sit on the road during a protest against their enlistment in the army outside the Knesset, Israel's parliament in Jerusalem, Monday, Oct. 23, 2017. The sign reads; "We say no."(AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

JERUSALEM (AP) — Thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews from a radical sect are again blocking roads in Jerusalem bringing traffic to a standstill and scuffling with police and passers-by.

Monday’s protest was the latest by the Peleg Yerushalmi group after some of its members were arrested when they did not go through procedures for draft exemptions granted to the ultra-Orthodox community.

Men in black hats and side locks mobbed intersections, preventing public buses and cars from moving.

Israeli TV showed footage of some men spitting and pushing a woman while yelling obscenities at her at a recent protest.

Police used a water cannon to disperse protesters and arrested 12 people.

Exemptions have long caused friction in Israeli society as most Jews are drafted after high school for three years.

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