Ultra-Orthodox allegedly stone soldier’s car, causing him to crash
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Ultra-Orthodox allegedly stone soldier’s car, causing him to crash

Serviceman sustains light injuries, but vehicle badly damaged as he drives into a lamppost after Beit Shemesh residents pelt him with rocks, garbage

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Illustrative. Ultra-Orthodox Israelis take part in a violent protest in Jerusalem's Mea Shearim neighborhood on June 27, 2009. (Uri Lenz/Flash90)
Illustrative. Ultra-Orthodox Israelis take part in a violent protest in Jerusalem's Mea Shearim neighborhood on June 27, 2009. (Uri Lenz/Flash90)

An Israeli soldier was lightly wounded after a group of ultra-Orthodox men allegedly threw rocks and garbage at his car in the central Israeli city of Beit Shemesh, causing him to crash, officials said.

Police said they were opening an investigation into the incident.

The 21-year-old victim was driving through the Ramat Beit Shemesh neighborhood of the city when, he said, a group of ultra-Orthodox, or Haredi, men started throwing rocks and bags of trash at his car, according to a volunteer from the United Hatzalah emergency medical service who was at the scene.

Police said the soldier then lost control of the vehicle and drove into a lamppost. The car was badly damaged.

The United Hatzalah medic said the car sustained significant damage in the crash, but the soldier was comparatively unharmed, sustaining cuts to his face.

“After the accident, his car was surrounded by a bunch of people acting crazy. I approached the car and calmed the driver down. I treated his wound and stayed with him until the police and ambulance team arrived,” the medic said.

The soldier was taken to Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem for treatment by the Magen David Adom ambulance service.

Some members of the ultra-Orthodox community are violently opposed to army service and the military in general.

Over the years, there have been frequent demonstrations by Haredi Jews against the draft. There have also been cases of soldiers getting harassed and even assaulted for entering ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods in Beit Shemesh and Jerusalem, including one this summer in which a former Knesset member’s soldier son was attacked in the capital’s Mea Shearim neighborhood.

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