Haredi soldiers to begin serving in naval combat roles

Israeli Navy seeks to promote ultra-Orthodox soldiers in security missions along maritime borders, and expand the soldiers’ service  beyond auxiliary roles, IDF official says.

By Lilach Shoval

 

Ultra-Orthodox soldiers will soon be assigned to Israeli Navy combat units, Israel Hayom learned Monday.

An Israeli Navy Dvora-class patrol boat – Photo: KOKO

The decision was made by the Israel Defense Forces Personnel Directorate, following an initiative by the Naval Headquarters’ Personnel Division, which hopes to expand haredi soldiers’ service in the corps beyond auxiliary roles.

The military plans to present the initiative to rabbis in the coming weeks, with hopes of seeing it realized by the end of 2015.

According to the plan, haredi soldiers will be assigned either to the 916th Squadron, stationed at the Navy’s Ashdod base, or the 914th Squadron, stationed in Haifa, and will serve on its Dvora- and Shaldag-class patrol boats, which conduct daily security assignments along Israel’s maritime border.

The initiative seeks to expand the military’s Netzah Program, currently implemented primarily in the Infantry Corps, to include the Navy.

Currently 4,485 ultra-Orthodox soldiers serve in the IDF, with 1,700 of them in combat units as part of the Netzah Program.

A senior Navy official told Israel Hayom that haredi soldiers joining the Navy would be guaranteed the necessary conditions of kashrut, separate barracks, Torah study hours, and more.

 

View original Israel Hayom publication at: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=26235

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