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Ultra-Orthodox Jews protest Israel military draft

Abir Sultan / EPA

Thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews participate in a prayer rally and protest against the Israeli government's intention to recruit Yeshiva students to the army and civil service, in the neighborhood of Mea Shearim in Jerusalem on June 25, 2012.

Thousands of Ultra-Orthodox Jews joined an early-morning prayer rally in Jerusalem on Monday to protest against government moves which could bring to an end the exemption of yeshiva students from mandatory military service.  

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports that Pini Rosenberg, one of the speakers at the rally, said: "Instead of preparing the prisons for immigrants from Sudan, we suggest to those haters of religion to prepare 50 thousand places of detention for yeshiva students who will refuse to be drafted."

Menahem Kahana / AFP - Getty Images

Ultra-Orthodox Jews pray early on Monday morning in the Sabbath Square at the heart of the Jewish neighbourhood in Jerusalem during a protest against the replacement to the Tal Law, that exempts ultra-Orthodox Yeshiva students from mandatory military service.

Abir Sultan / EPA

An Ultra-Orthodox man wearing burlap as a sign of mourning takes part in a prayer rally in Mea Shearim.

Abir Sultan / EPA

Boys watch from the sidelines of the rally.