Ultra-Orthodox Jews clash with Israeli police over military draft

JERUSALEM — Israeli police say hundreds of ultra-Orthodox protesters have clashed with police in a demonstration against military conscription.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld says protesters in Jerusalem hurled stones and bottles at police and set trash bins on fire. He said police on horseback pushed them back and five were arrested.

Thursday's protest was meant as a show of support for an ultra-Orthodox man who refused to appear at a recruitment center.

Israel recently passed a contentious law aiming to gradually increase ultra-Orthodox enlistment. A system of military exemptions for ultra-Orthodox men has bred resentment among Israel's secular majority, whose sons serve three years. Ultra-Orthodox leaders say they serve Israel through religious study and prayer and fear integration into the military will pose a threat to their pious way of life.

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