Former Israeli Police Maj.- Gen. Arieh Amit said Thursday that security forces should have “no mercy” on ultra-Orthodox protestors involved in civil unrest and attacking Israeli soldiers.
“The time has come to deal with those involved in civil unrest and attacking soldiers in Mea She’arim and Beit Shemesh with rubber and artificial bullets. NO MERCY,” wrote Amit in a Facebook post in Hebrew.
Amit, who served in the Israeli police for over 20 years, holding senior positions including Head of Operations and Commander Chief of the Jerusalem District, made the comments in response to the ongoing campaign carried out by extremists in the ultra-Orthodox community in Israel against the enlistment of haredi men into the IDF.
The campaign has garnered considerable press coverage with scenes of soldiers being subject to both verbal and physical harassment in the streets of ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods.
Earlier this month, photos emerged of an IDF soldier, the son of former Yesh Atid lawmaker Dov Lipman, being escorted away from an angry mob of ultra-Orthodox protestors in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Mea She’arim.
In a statement, Israel Police promised “to fight against all elements who are violent toward those in uniform at any time and in any place, and will not allow extremist elements to take the law into their own hands and to harm people who chose to serve the state.”
In May 2017, for the second time in less than two months, haredi (ultra-Orthodox) extremists in the radical Mea She’arim neighborhood of Jerusalem burned a haredi IDF soldier in effigy, during bonfires set to mark the Lag Ba’omer holiday.
In March 2016, an effigy of an IDF soldier was found hanging in Mea She’arim. Alongside the effigy was a large sign warning soldiers not to enter the neighborhood.