Israel’s political and military establishment expressed shock and dismay on Friday hours after an IDF officer was accosted and lightly beaten by a mob of ultra-Orthodox Jews in the Mea Shearim neighborhood of Jerusalem.
The officer, who serves in an infantry brigade, was wearing an army uniform and a knitted skullcap that is the hallmark of the religious Zionist community.
He had entered the neighborhood to pay a visit to two soldiers said to be in dire financial straits.
“In recent years, the IDF has enlisted into its ranks thousands of ultra-Orthodox, assigning them significant tasks and roles throughout the army and its various units,” the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said in a statement.
“The IDF views this incident with gravity,” the statement read. “The army denounces and condemns any attempt to harm its officers and soldiers who work day and night to protect the country and its citizens.”