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A man in his forties was arrested in Jerusalem yesterday morning on suspicion of having yelled at, cursed and threatened a female soldier sitting in the front of a mehadrin bus. Mehadrin buses are used mainly by ultra-Orthodox passengers, and women normally sit in the back.

Jerusalem police chief Niso Shaham announced the arrest later in the day at a Knesset Economic Affairs Committee meeting on the exclusion of women.

The soldier, Doron Matalon, serves as a clerk to GOC Central Command Avi Mizrahi. She said she uses the 49A bus, which carries a largely ultra-Orthodox clientele, to get to the Central Command base in Jerusalem's Neveh Ya'akov neighborhood because it's faster. This wasn't the first time she has been accosted by other passengers, she said, but it was the first time she called for help.

"I got on the bus in the morning and didn't want to sit in the back, both on principle and because there was no room," Matalon told Haaretz. "Everything was fine, I was almost at my stop, when the ticket-checkers got on the bus ... At some point one of the checkers, a secular woman, started checking tickets in the front of the bus, and to let her pass, I stood up."

At that point, she said, an avreich, or married yeshiva student, "told the ticket-checker, 'you don't have to come to the front to check tickets; women are not supposed to come to this end of the bus.' Then he looked at me and said, 'You too, soldier, go to the back.' And then he called me a whore."

Several other ultra-Orthodox men also started yelling at her, she said, and "that's when the mayhem started. They called me 'shiksa' [non-Jew], 'zona' [whore] and said I was a loose woman because I was sitting near avreichim."

Feeling threatened, she called to the male ticket-checkers for help. They tried to calm the main attacker down, but when he refused to stop yelling, she said, they told the driver to stop the bus and called the police.

The man did not stop yelling and cursing even when a policeman got on the bus, and not even as he was being hauled off the bus into the patrol car, she said.

Matalon, who gave her version of events to police, added, "I've been through worse things on that line. Once they started cursing, and when I got to my stop, they pushed me off the bus."