Military service in Israel is mandatory for all men and women who are 18 years old. Back when the country was created in 1948, its first Prime Minister (David Ben-Gurion) made an exemption for some 400 "ultra-Orthodox" Jews to avoid the mandatory service to study the Torah. Earlier in September of 2017, Israel's Supreme Court ruled that exemptions for ultra-Orthodox Jews were unconstitutional and abolished the law. The crowd had gathered to protest the changing of this law and police responded to control the scene.