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Protest in Tel Aviv against rules that exempt ultra-Orthodox Jews and Arabs from military service

News Tel Aviv, Israel - 07 July 2012

A protest and a rally held in Tel-Aviv, Israel, on July 7, 2012, in front of the defense ministry, calling for the end of the rules that exempt ultra-Orthodox and Israeli Arabs from military service. According to the police, about 20,000 took part.

Here is a report by CNN:

"A day after thousands of Israeli demonstrators demanded an end to rules that make ultra-Orthodox Jews exempt from the draft, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that the nation's approach to military service must change.

"The existing situation cannot continue. Neither the army, the economy nor society can continue on the current path," Netanyahu said at the start of his weekly Cabinet meeting.

The prime minister named a new team to draw up a law that would "share the burden" of military service, which is required for most Israelis when they reach the age of 18. The existing law provides an exemption for Arabs and ultra-Orthodox Jews.

The issue has been a controversial political topic for months for Netanyahu, but time is running out. Israel's Supreme Court has ruled that the law, which exempts tens of thousands of Israelis from service, must be replaced by August 1.

Such a move is sorely needed, according to thousands of protesters who marched on the streets of Tel Aviv Saturday night.

Holding banners reading, "Service for all" and "We are not suckers," they demanded a universal military draft.

More than 20,000 people turned out to protest, Israeli Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said."

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