Charedi Jewish protest at Israel’s law requiring them to serve in the military

RELIGIONS NEWS AGENCY (REDNA) – Thousands of Charedi orthodox Jews protested in Jerusalem at plans to remove the exemption from army service.

A court struck down the exemption at a hearing last month, effective from 1 April, changing a rule in place since 1947.

The news agency AFP reports that then there were only 400 men in yeshiva religious schools, but today there are 66,000 Charedi men aged between 18 and 26 and they fear compulsory military service will harm yeshivas, as people are withdrawn for service lasting 32 months.

They also say that serving in a mixed-gender environment or with non-religious people is incompatible with their values.

The Interior Minister Moshe Arbel, of the Orthodox party Shas, said the community must face the reality that exemptions are no longer morally justified after the attack on 7 October.

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