(JTA) — Police in Jerusalem arrested 16 young men in the Haredi neighborhood of Me’a She’arim after they reportedly assaulted police officers posted to keep soldiers safe.
The incident Friday followed efforts by police to keep extremists in the neighborhood from assaulting other Haredim who serve in the Israel Defense Forces.
Haredi men were allowed an automatic exemption from serving until a 2014 law decreed they sign up for the army or other national service frameworks by 2017. While thousands of Haredi men comply with the new laws, extremists have taken to intimidate those who do.
Police officers and Border Police soldiers were put on alert in Me’a She’arim Friday afternoon, when many soldiers serving in bases return to their homes for the weekend. Officers intervened when hecklers began shouting and hurling objects at uniform wearers, Channel 2 reported, prompting police to make arrests.
Subsequently, dozens of men began to huddle around the arresting police officers, and some threw stones at them, forcing the Border Police to use crowd dispersal means and make more arrests.