Police removed a doll dressed in the uniform of an IDF soldier from the side of a building where it was hung in the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Mea She’arim in Jerusalem on Friday.
The police received a report about the hanging soldier doll on Friday morning, and promptly located the building and removed the effigy.
An initial investigation revealed that the doll was soaked in flammable liquid, suggesting that whoever hung it intended to set it on fire.
The police said that they “will not permit any event that has the potential to harm those in uniform, and will act with determination and with all the means necessary in order to locate those responsible for such acts.”
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman commented on the incident on Twitter, calling it a “horrifying sight.”
“My job as defense minister is to protect [everyone], including the instigators of such acts. [But] my job as a citizen is to fight against them politically. The authorities’ job is to put them behind bars.”
He added that he expects the leaders of the ultra-Orthodox parties in the Knesset to condemn the incident.
Later on Friday
, police were alerted about and removed a second doll from Haim Ozer Street, in Jerusalem’s Geula neighborhood. This one also depicted a Haredi soldier in uniform.
The effigies had black kippot on their heads, leading to speculation they were meant to intimidate haredi soldiers who serve in the Israel Defense Forces.
Tensions between the ultra-Orthodox community and the secular community regarding Haredi military conscription have been rising in recent weeks, as a bill to anchor ultra-Orthodox exemption from military service in the law is on the Knesset’s agenda.
Liberman, a strong advocate for Haredi conscription, has repeatedly emphasized his Yisrael Beytenu party’s refusal to support the legislation.JTA contributed to this report.