Protests in Two Cities Over Arrest of Yeshivah Bachur

YERUSHALAYIM -

The arrest of a yeshivah bachur who did not report to the draft bureau, and the resulting pain and fury among the public, led to several protest demonstrations in Kikar Shabbos, Bar Ilan intersection and Ramot in Yerushalayim and on Jabotinsky Street — a primary traffic artery — in Bnei Brak.

Geulah remained closed to vehicular traffic, including bus transportation, for several hours at the height of the pre-Pesach rush.

Thousands of people trying to get into Geulah throughout the afternoon were unable to. Even if they managed to get past the traffic, they were met with police ribbons that prevented access from the direction of Sarei Yisrael and Shmuel Hanavi Streets due to the demonstration in Kikar Shabbos.

The objective of the demonstration was to express the increasing pain and fury at the harassment of yeshivah students and the attempts to weaken them by arresting them. Demonstrators declared that they would not keep silent in the face of what is widely perceived as anti-chareidi actions by the government.

Anger was especially high due to the timing, Erev Pesach, the festival of freedom, with the authorities stating intentions to leave the bachur behind bars for Pesach, including the Seder.