An ultra-Orthodox lawmaker was attacked in Jerusalem on Monday when a man tried to cut his beard.
According to an initial investigation of the incident, MK Meir Porush of the ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism party was leaving his home in the capital and heading for morning prayer at a nearby synagogue when a man approached him and asked him "are you Porush?"
After the Knesset member confirmed his identity, the assailant proceeded to attack him with a pair of scissors, trying to cut his beard. Porush managed to fend off his attacker, who fled the scene on a scooter alongside an accomplice.
The lawmaker was not injured in the attack and did not require medical treatment.
Police opened an investigation and retrieved security camera footage in the area but no arrests have yet to be made.
Ultra-Orthodox sources estimated that the attack came in protest of the light rail construction works on the city's Bar Ilan Road which is opposed by some extremist ultra-Orthodox factions.
These factions usually hold anti-Zionist views and frequently clash with authorities. MK Porush, who is considered close to such factions, often becomes a target of attacks as a sign of their disappointment with him.
The lawmaker's neighbor told Ynet that Porush shared his account of the incident when he arrived at the synagogue in the morning.
"When I head out for the synagogue, I noticed a suspicious-looking man on a scooter in ultra-Orthodox clothing, he was riding back and forth and spent a lot of time sitting on the bench and waiting", the neighbor said.
The neighbor said that walked Porush home after the prayer since he claimed he was scared to go alone.
Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy called Porush after the attack to ask about his wellbeing.
"I'm deeply shocked by this attack on MK Porush, and after the conversation with him, I spoke with Jerusalem Police District Commander Doron Turgeman about ways we can catch those attackers," Levy said.