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Police: Ultra-Orthodox soldier attacked in Jerusalem
Published Tuesday 09/07/2013 (updated) 10/07/2013 15:50
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JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Israeli police on Tuesday rescued an ultra-Orthodox soldier who was attacked by a group of his coreligionists in Jerusalem's Mea Shearim neighbourhood, a spokesman said.

"Police rescued an ultra-Orthodox soldier who had taken refuge inside a building in Mea Shearim after being attacked by dozens of haredim," police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP, using the Hebrew word for ultra-Orthodox Jews.

The soldier had taken refuge inside a building in the middle of the ultra-Orthodox Mea Shearim neighbourhood after he was attacked by people throwing stones and called for help.

But when the police arrived, they too came under attack by stone-throwers who tried to stop them from rescuing the soldier, Rosenfeld said.

"Police were also attacked by 100-150 haredim who threw stones at them to prevent them from entering the building," he said.

The soldier was rescued unharmed and four of the stone-throwers were arrested, he added.

The incident came as a national debate rages over the issue of ultra-Orthodox Jews serving in the army.

The Israeli government on Sunday approved a draft law which would spell the end of a system which has seen tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox exempted from military service.

The bill, which is vehemently opposed by the ultra-Orthodox community, must now pass three readings in parliament before becoming law.

It seeks to amend the current situation in which ultra-Orthodox men have automatically been exempted if they are studying in religious seminaries, or yeshivas.

Military service is compulsory in Israel, with men serving three years and women two.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews make up roughly 10 percent of Israel's population of just over eight million.
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1 ) Mel / USA
09/07/2013 23:50
So what's Israel going to do? Deport nearly 1 million Haredim/Mizrahi & order in a million white secular Ashkenazi's,or desperate sub-Saharan black Jews,to fill the"Jewish facts on the ground"(military)gap?It can't be an inclusive Jewish-only State & a MILITARIST OCCUPYING ONE TOO! When is a Jew not GOOD enough for 1948 Israel? When he/she won't pick up a gun & KILL Arabs as easily as occupying Ashkenazi's will? End Israel's MILITARISM,& occupation,&have VOLUNTARY service,instead!

2 ) gabi / australia
10/07/2013 03:42
What are they on about? Come on, Brian Cohen, I'm sure you can tell us.

3 ) wellhung / Hong Kong
10/07/2013 17:36
Mel/USA Jews from modern Iraq, Syria, Bahrain, Azerbaijan, Iran, Lebanon, India, Uzbekistan, Kurdish areas and Jews from Afghanistan and Pakistan. Yemenite and Georgian Jews are usually referred to as Mizrahi Jews. All now assimilated into the Jewish State of Israel over the years.

4 ) Maureen / Australia
10/07/2013 23:26
Enforcing military service upon religious Jews just goes to prove Israel is not a genuine Jewish state! It's just an occupying racist entity controlled by a military junta!

5 ) Tom / USA
11/07/2013 03:23
Jews who are actually Jewish (like the Haredim) reject nationalist zionism and won't take up a gun to defend it. It's wonderful that a few survivors of the Holocaust have been able to keep their cultural traditions alive. Like "not doing to other people what you don't want done to you" (Hillel).

6 ) ian / australia
11/07/2013 03:43
Who knew there were stones in Mea Shearim? Perhaps it's the garbage in the street they're throwing. A pretty nutty story but like I say the good thing about the spooky Haredim neighbourhood and this bizarre brouhaha is that it's IN Israel. It's all happening on the ISRAELI side of the border. So go crazy. Have whatever barmy squabbles and fracas about whether ultra-Orthodox soldiers can use the phone or shoot exploding "dum-dum" bullets on Shabbat. Whatever. Just keep the craziness in Israel.
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