JERUSALEM -- Thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews protested Monday in Jerusalem against attempts to draft members of the cloistered community into the Israeli military.

The government is trying to find a formula to obligate ultra-Orthodox Jews to serve in the military before a court-determined Aug. 1 deadline. The current law largely exempts the community from military service. That infuriates many Israelis, since almost all others are required to serve. Israel's Supreme Court ruled the law must be revised.

In the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Mea Shearim, children wearing handcuffs and signs reading "save me" marched the streets Monday. The ultra-Orthodox fear assimilation in the secular military and claim they are serving the state by serving God in prayer and study.

A high-profile panel aimed at finding a compromise was recently disbanded.

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  • Handcuffed Ultra Orthodox Jewish men and children participate in protest against attempts to draft members of the cloistered community into the Israeli military, in an ultra Orthodox neighborhood in Jerusalem, Israel, Monday, July 16, 2012. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

  • Handcuffed Ultra Orthodox Jewish man and children participate in protest against attempts to draft members of the cloistered community into the Israeli military, in an ultra Orthodox neighborhood in Jerusalem, Israel, Monday, July 16, 2012. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

  • Handcuffed Ultra Orthodox Jewish children participate in protest against attempts to draft members of the cloistered community into the Israeli military, in an ultra Orthodox neighborhood in Jerusalem, Israel, Monday, July 16, 2012. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

  • Handcuffed Ultra Orthodox Jewish children participate in protest against attempts to draft members of the cloistered community into the Israeli military, in an ultra Orthodox neighborhood in Jerusalem, Israel, Monday, July 16, 2012. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

  • Handcuffed Ultra Orthodox Jewish men and children participate in protest against attempts to draft members of the cloistered community into the Israeli military, in an ultra Orthodox neighborhood in Jerusalem, Israel, Monday, July 16, 2012. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

  • Handcuffed Ultra Orthodox Jewish man and children participate in protest against attempts to draft members of the cloistered community into the Israeli military, in an ultra Orthodox neighborhood in Jerusalem, Israel, Monday, July 16, 2012. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

  • Israelis attend a rally in support of a new law to mandate universal conscription to the military in Tel Aviv, Saturday, July 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Dan Balilty)

  • An Ultra Orthodox Jewish man walks past an army recruiting base in Jerusalem. Monday, July 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Dan Balilty)



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