The IDF expressed outrage on Friday over the attack on a haredi IDF officer from the Givati Brigade by ultra-Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem's Meah She'arim neighborhood.
They admitted, however, that the attack was not a rare event, and said that similar cases were likely to occur in the future.
"This won't be the last case," said sources in the army's Personnel Directorate involved in the recruitment of ultra-Orthodox soldiers.
"Law enforcement authorities, as well as courts, encourage the continued violence against haredi soldiers or commanders who come to visit them."
An ultra-Orthodox soldier serving in the Shahar program in the Home Front Command told Ynet that incidents such as those that occurred Friday are commonplace for haredi soldiers. "Haredi soldiers suffer threats and humiliations." He added that "the police do not act against those who print and distribute flyers inciting against them."
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.
The officer told his mother that the attackers "had murder in their eyes," and said that they were "just like the terrorists I met in Khan Yunis, in the last war. Not one person in the crowd tried to protect me. There was not one righteous man in Sodom."
IDF personnel directorate officials say that the law enforcement bodies are encouraging the violence by failing to effectively enforce the law against the perpetrators.
"The incident that happened today proves that there is a state of lawlessness in ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods such as Mea She'arim. For an ultra-Orthodox soldier, visiting such a neighborhood is like visiting a foreign country. Just two weeks ago, a religious soldier serving in the IAF in a combat role was attacked in a similar fashion, because he 'dared' to walk around in Beit Shemesh wearing IDF uniform."
The IDF said that the officer assaulted on Friday was an outstanding soldier who fought in Operation Protective Edge.
This past year, the IDF began to integrate ultra-Orthodox soldiers into the Givati infantry brigade, as well as into the "Netzah Yehuda" Battalion. Religious soldiers serving in the Givati Brigade's Rotem Battalion are engaged in operational activities along the border with Syria and Lebanon in the Mount Hermon sector.
Officials in the Givati Brigade commended the officer attacked on Friday for refraining from an aggressive response: "He was nearly lynched, but he kept his composure and did not use his weapon, despite feeling threatened when they threw rocks at his car."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and heads of ultra-Orthodox parties were quick to condemn the attack.
Netanyahu called the incident "outrageous", and said that "the lawbreakers who raised their hand on a soldier must be brought to justice."
"Military service in the IDF is a source of pride," he said. "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."
Shas party chairman Aryeh Deri said: "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."
MK Yaakov Litzman of the United Torah Judaism party also denounced 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."