Thousands of ultra-Orthodox men protested on the streets of Jerusalem on Saturday in response to recent arrests and media criticism of their actions to enforce strict religious codes in Israeli society.

Members of extremist groups protested with young boys dressed as Holocaust victims of Nazi rule. Children were shown wearing coats with yellow stars stitched on them and in prison uniforms to reflect the Holocaust imagery. Organisers also distributed yellow stars with "Jude" (German for Jew) printed on them.

The protest was organised against the "spiritual holocaust," the community is allegedly facing at the hands of the government. The ultra-Orthodox groups were widely criticised for enforcing strict gender segregation and religious modesty rules for women and girls in society.

An ultra-Orthodox man was arrested recently on charges of sexual harassment after he verbally abused a woman Israeli soldier for not moving to the back seat of a public bus.

On December 28, an Israeli television channel showed footage of a frightened 8-year–old girl who was subjected to verbal abuse by the Haredim or the ultra-Orthodox Jewish extremist men on her way to school. They shouted, jeered and spat on the girl and called her a prostitute as these men felt her school uniform was immodest.

Take a look at pictures of young boys dressed as Holocaust victims during the demonstrations in Israel.

A boy wearing a cloth cap and a yellow Star of David as he raises his hands during a protest in Jerusalem.PA
Orthodox Jewish children, wearing a Star of David patch and uniform similar to those the Nazis forced Jews to wear, attend a rally in Jerusalem's Mea Shearim neighbourhood.PA
An Orthodox Jewish child, wearing a Star of David patch similar to those the Nazis forced Jews to wear, attends a rally in Jerusalem's Mea Shearim neighbourhood on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011.PA
Orthodox Jewish men, wearing a Star of David patch similar to those the Nazis forced Jews to wear, attend a rally in Jerusalem's Mea Shearim neighbourhood.PA
Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men gather around a sign that reads in Hebrew: "Women are asked not to linger in this area" outside a synagogue in the central Israeli town of Beit Shemesh on Monday, Dec. 26, 2011.PA
Ultra-Orthodox Jewish schoolboys gather on the roof of a building to look down at Israeli police trying to remove a sign asking women not to walk in that area, near a synagogue in the central Israeli town of Beit Shemesh on Monday, Dec. 26, 2011.PA