Rabbi Nissan Kaplan said Israeli ministers who proposed scrapping the military service exemption for Yeshiva students should be killed.

A senior Orthodox rabbi has apologised after telling religious students in Jerusalem that Israeli government ministers should be killed for forcing the ultra-Orthodox to serve in the military like everyone else in Israel.

Teaching at the prestigious Mir Yeshiva, Rabbi Nissan Kaplan compared ministers who supported a law scrapping the ultra-Orthodox draft exemption to the Jewish people’s ancient enemy, the Amalekites.

Kaplan told his class that he had explained to his six-year old son that under the interpretation of Aharon Leib Shteinman, a Charedi leader, ministers should be killed.

“We have today Haman, Amalek, all of this government, and the way is to take knives and to kill them, like with the [ancient] Greeks,” he said.

He said he felt there was “a war on religion” and asked: “Why aren’t we doing it? I don’t know who the general is to run the war. If I would know who is the general we’d go out with knives.”