Ultra-Orthodox Jews hurl stones at soldier in Jerusalem, nearly hit baby

Ultra-Orthodox Jews hurl stones at soldier in Jerusalem, nearly hit baby

Police dispatched to safely evacuate serviceman in Mea Shearim neighborhood, where an effigy of soldier was hung on Sunday

A group of ultra-Orthodox men and boys heckled and threw stones at an IDF soldier walking through the Mea Shearim neighborhood in Jerusalem on Wednesday.

One of the stones nearly hit a father who was holding his six-month old daughter. Footage from the scene showed the father — with his baby still in his arms — yelling at the mob as they continued to hiss at the soldier. The child’s mother then appeared to scream at them as well, before the two of them walk away in disgust.

Police were dispatched to the scene and said that officers managed to scatter the crowd and safely evacuate the soldier, who was unharmed in the incident.

“The Israel Police will work with all the means at its disposal in order to identify those who took part in verbal or physical attacks on uniformed men and bring them to justice,” police said in a statement.

The IDF said it condemned the incident and viewed it “very seriously.”

On Sunday, ultra-Orthodox extremists in the same neighborhood hung an effigy of an IDF soldier, which was taken down by Border Police hours later.

Many in the ultra-Orthodox community shun the mandatory military service that applies to most Israelis, and the community has historically enjoyed blanket exemptions from the army in favor of religious seminary studies.

A court deadline to finalize a law regulating the draft is looming, and many ultra-Orthodox view the latest proposal on the issue as the best possible deal for their community, also warning that rejecting it will lead to chaos and mass conscription.

The High Court of Justice has shot down previous iterations of the bill on the grounds that they violated the principle of equality before the law.

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