A kippa-wearing IDF soldier was chased by members of a radical ultra-Orthodox sect in Jerusalem on Tuesday evening with their hurling objects at him and cursing him due to their opposition to IDF conscription.
The incident took place during a march organized by the sect, called the Jerusalem Faction, in support of yeshiva students who were arrested for not reporting to the IDF conscription office. Those men were released on furlough to celebrate the Passover Seder with their families. Tuesday evening, prior to their return to the military prison, the detainees were transported through Jerusalem in a limousine bearing a sign reading “Prisoners of the Torah world.”
The attacked soldier was attacked when he passed by the procession on Jerusalem’s Bar Ilan Street.
Yeshiva students, including those from the Jerusalem Faction, are entitled to exemption from military service under the existing law, but for this purpose they must report to the recruitment office to file for an exemption.
Jerusalem Faction students refuse to do so on the grounds that this constitutes cooperation with the army, and thus many of them are defined as draft dodgers, and some are arrested for this.
After many recent incidents in which Haredi soldiers were attacked, the police undertook an operation last week in which a policeman disguised himself as a soldier and entered Mea She’arim. When he was attacked as was expected, undercover police revealed themselves and arrested the rioters.
(Translated and edited by J. Herzog)