Israel's president has urged Israelis to rally against ultra-Orthodox Jewish extremism in what he called a fight for the "soul of the nation".
Shimon Peres was speaking as hundreds gathered in the town of Beit Shemesh to protest against the way some ultra-Orthodox Jews treat women.
There have been two days of clashes in the town after a girl said she had been harassed on her way to school.
Some ultra-Orthodox in Beit Shemesh are seeking to segregate men and women.
Mr Peres said today was a "test for the nation", not just the police.
"The entire nation must be recruited in order to save the majority from the hands of a small minority," Mr Peres said.
He said the demonstration was a defence of the "character" of the state of Israel "against a minority which breaks our national solidarity".
Protesters, some holding signs reading "Free Israel from religious coercion" and "Stop Israel from becoming Iran", gathered in large numbers on Tuesday evening.----
More on the BBC's website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-16338376
In: Regional News, Other Middle East, Religion
Tags: Israel, Israeli, president, ultra, orthodox, protests
Location: Israel (load item map)
Marked as: approved
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