Jerusalem - Dozens Attack Charedi Soldier In Mea Shearim
Last updated on: July 9, 2013 03:18 PM
Jerusalem - A haredi soldier was attacked by dozens of haredi men on Tuesday night in the ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem neighborhood of Mea Shearim.
According to the police, at approximately 19:30 the soldier, who was in uniform, was surrounded and threatened by approximately 100 haredi men on Gimzo Street in the heart of Mea Shearim, but managed to flee to a nearby building and alert the police.
Several police units were called to the scene, including border police and riot police, who forcibly broke through the crowd of haredi men and succeeded in safely extracting the soldier.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the unidentified soldier was “shaken up” but not injured when police arrived, adding that stones were thrown at officers by the crowd before the soldier was transported to safety.
A low-level riot continued after the soldier was extracted, with more haredi men joining the crowd, until the police succeeded in dispersing the protesters.
At least four arrests were made on charges of disturbing the peace.
Minister for Science and Technology Yaakov Peri, who headed a committee which has drawn up legislation for drafting haredi men into the army, strongly condemned what his office termed “an attempted lynch.”
“Any attempt to physically harm or [damage] the morale of soldiers will be answered immediately and uncompromisingly by the state,” said Peri.
“Incidents such as what occurred this evening will not be allowed to pass quietly by the authorities. I request from the leaders of haredi society to assert control before a tragedy happens.”
Shas chairman Arye Deri said he was shocked and disgusted by the attack, blaming it on “extremist and delinquent youth.”
“Their ways are not our ways, and the sages said he who lifts up a hand against his fellow is called an evil person,” Deri noted in a statement to the press.
The Shas chairman said he was calling on the heads of all political parties to “return to dialogue, understanding and reconciliation,” in order to avoid similar incidents.
There have been at least two other physical attacks against haredi soldiers by members of the haredi public in recent weeks.
A concerted campaign is currently being conducted by radical elements in the ultra-Orthodox community to delegitimize and stigmatize haredi men who choose to serve in the IDF as having betrayed the haredi community.
The campaign includes the dissemination of flyers, posters and information about the “danger” haredi soldiers pose to the ultra-Orthodox community.
In a Knesset committee hearing last week, Brigadier-General Gadi Agmon from the IDF Manpower Directorate noted that the army has received 80 complaints of physical violence and verbal abuse, in which haredi soldiers have reported that tires of their vehicles have been slashed, graffiti has been sprayed at their homes, they have been spat on and had stones thrown at them.
Content is provided courtesy of the Jerusalem Post
(Photos below courtesy to VIN News by Ariel Finder, 24 News)
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