Ultra-Orthodox man arrested for stoning soldier’s car, causing him to crash
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Ultra-Orthodox man arrested for stoning soldier’s car, causing him to crash

Arrest comes a week after serviceman was injured driving into a lamppost when Beit Shemesh residents pelted him with rocks, garbage

Illustrative photo of an ultra-Orthodox protest against compulsory drafting into the army, in Beit Shemesh on March 1, 2017. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)
Illustrative photo of an ultra-Orthodox protest against compulsory drafting into the army, in Beit Shemesh on March 1, 2017. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

A man was arrested Tuesday on suspicion that he was part of a group of ultra-Orthodox men who allegedly threw rocks at a car driven by a soldier in the town of Beit Shemesh, causing him him to crash, police said.

Although the car was badly damaged, the soldier suffered only slight cuts to his face.

Police said the suspect was remanded in custody following an appearance in court.

The 21-year-old soldier was driving through the Ramat Beit Shemesh neighborhood of the city last week when 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 lost control of the vehicle and drove into a lamppost.

“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 Hatzalah medic said at the time.

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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