Ultra-Orthodox mob attacks Israeli soldier

July 10, 2013 at 6:59 AM
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JERUSALEM, July 10 (UPI) -- A raging ultra-Orthodox mob in Jerusalem attacked a haredi soldier who had to be rescued by Israeli police and border agents, officials said.

The incident occurred late Tuesday when the ultra-Orthodox soldier went to the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Mea Shearim to visit an uncle.

The attack was harshly condemned by the country's political echelon. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned, "We will take a hard line against whoever tries to intimidate the citizens who are fulfilling their duty to the state," Ynetnews.com said.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon called the incident "despicable" and Science, Technology and Space Minister Yaakov Perry, who headed a committee that drew up legislation for drafting haredi men, called the attack "an attempted lynch[ing]." The Jerusalem Post said.

Police said some 100 ultra-Orthodox men surrounded the soldier and threatened him, Israeli television channels reported. The soldier fled to a nearby building where he changed into civilian clothing and alerted police, Ynetnews.com said. The raging mob followed him.

Police and border agents who arrived at the scene came under a barrage of stones but succeeded in extracting the soldier. Police later arrested four of the soldier's attackers.

The terms "haredi" or "ultra-Orthodox" are used to described the most conservative form of orthodox Judaism. Followers are divided into a large number of sects according to their countries of origin. Each sect differs greatly in ideology, customs, religious acts and lifestyle.

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