Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned on Friday the attack on a haredi IDF soldier by ultra-Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem's Meah She'arim neighborhood, calling it an "outrageous incident", and saying that "the lawbreakers who raised their hand on a soldier must be brought to justice."
The officer, a resident of Kiryat Arba who serves in the Givati infantry brigade, had arrived at the neighborhood in Jerusalem to pay a visit to two of his soldiers – one of them a lone soldier whose grandfather had recently passed away.
The officer's relatives said that the officer was careful to park his car near the soldier's home so as not to "stir provocation or attract attention."
Upon leaving the home of one of the soldiers, dozens of ultra-Orthodox Jews – both adults and children – threw stones and eggs at him, caused damage to his car and yelled: “Hardak (frivolous haredi), we will kill you".
The soldier's mother, Yael, told Ynet that the attackers were dozens of adults and children, who had tried to physically hurt the officer. "He was driving in his car, which is an armour protected vehicle because we live in Kiryat Arba – and when he was assaulted, he tried to flee the area," she said.
Following the attack, Netanayhu spoke with Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch and was given an update on police's efforts to locate the assailants.
"Military service in the IDF is a source of pride. The IDF is an army that protects all of us. All members of Israeli society serve in the IDF – this is how things were and how they will always be," Netanyahu said.
A statement issued by the IDF Spokesperson's Unit said that the army "views this incident with the gravity."
"The army denounces and condemns any attempt to harm its commanders and soldiers, who work day and night to protect the security of the country and its citizens".
The IDF stressed that there the army has within its ranks "thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews serving in important positions."
Shas party chairman Aryeh Deri called the incident a "terrorist act".
"There's a limit to everything. An attack on an IDF soldier by Jewish extremists is an act of terrorism. A grave incident occurred today and I urge the police to do everything in their power to bring the perpetrators to justice."
Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said that the attack was a shameful and ugly act that requires immediate treatment.
"We must not respond to violence with forgiveness. Woe to us if in Israel, soldiers and officers are assaulted because they are wearing IDF uniforms. We must act to the full extent of the law against those who try to harm IDF soldiers who protect Israeli citizens."
MK Yaakov Litzman of the United Torah Judaism party also condemned the attack: "The attack on a soldier by extremists is a red line that must be denounced. Violence of any kind is a forbidden act. The police must bring the attackers to justice."