Jonathan Lis of Ha'aretz reports:
Five assailants believed to be Ultra-Orthodox Jews assaulted a woman and an Israel Defense Forces soldier Sunday for sitting next to each other on a bus bound for Beit Shemesh, near Jerusalem.
The incident began when the five men asked the religious woman to move to the back of the bus to prevent males and females from sitting together in public. When she refused, they beat her and the male soldier who sat next to her.
Police forces that arrived at the scene to arrest the men were attacked by dozens of ultra-Orthodox men who punctured the tires of their vehicles, allowing the assailants to escape. No one was hurt in the incident.
The ultra-Orthodox community in Beit Shemesh has been at odds with Egged over their demands that the bus company operates so-called "kosher" lines where woman and men are seated seperately.
In 2006 dozens of Haredi protestors took to the streets, hurling stones and eggs to demonstrate against the bus company. In one incident, a bus driver who was attacked fired his handgun in the air to fend off his assailants.