An IDF soldier from the hareidi-religious community was attacked Tuesday night in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Meah Shearim. The soldier was attacked when he paid a visit to relatives in the neighborhood.
Police have opened an investigation into the attack. A police spokesperson said that the soldier was pelted with rocks and stones, and chased by a mob of hareidi residents of the neighborhood. He managed to get into a building and was able to call police, who arrived on the scene within minutes. Police dispersed the mob that had gathered outside the building and rescued the soldier, who was unharmed. Rioters threw rocks at police, as well as at reporters. Residents said that police attacked them, waving nightsticks and clubbing passerby.
Four people were arrested, police said. The soldier has not yet identified his attackers, Channel 10 said Tuesday night.
Commenting on the attack, Finance Minister and Yesh Atid head Yair Lapid said that “the ongoing incitement and violent attacks and actions against members of the hareidi community who join the IDF, such as the one that took place in Jerusalem, arouse our deep shock. Such attacks must be strongly condemned.” Lapid said.
Lapid said he would organize an emergency meeting with Public Security Minister Yitzchak Aharonovich, to discuss ways to prevent such attacks. In recent weeks, IDF soldiers have complained of being attacked in hareidi neighborhoods, as tensions over the recently-passed equal service law have reached new heights. Soldiers from hareidi families have complained of attacks and name calling, and being told to stay out of hareidi neighborhoods, as religious leaders condemn the government for a mass draft of thousands of students in hareidi yeshivas.