Daily Israel Report

Netanyahu Compliments Nahal Hareidi

The hareidi infantry unit played a role in the elimination of terrorists in Jenin.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 3/23/2014, 4:33 PM

Nahal Hareidi training
Nahal Hareidi training
Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu paid compliments Sunday to the Nahal Hareidi battalion – the infantry unit that was created especially for hareidi soldiers, and which adheres to stricter codes of kashrut and separation of the sexes than other units.

The hareidi infantry unit played a role in the elimination of Hamza Abu Alheja and two other terrorists in Jenin.

"Over the weekend our forces struck at a terrorist who had organized attacks on Israelis and was also planning attacks on innocent civilians,” said Netanyahu at the start of Sunday's Cabinet session.

“I would like to commend the anti-terrorism unit, the IDF units involved, including the Nahal Hareidi, and the Israel Security Agency (ISA or Shin Bet) for carrying out a very important operation in eliminating someone who endangered Israeli citizens. Our policy is to attack those who attack us and who are planning to attack us. Both were applicable in this case.

“At the same time, we also discovered a tunnel, a Hamas attack tunnel. These items underscore the importance of strict security procedures in any future settlement.

The Nahal Hareidi unit is the flasgship project in the IDF's effort to incorporate hareidim into combat units, and has received multiple IDF awards for excellence. There has reportedly been a downturn in the number of hareidim enlisting to the unit since efforts began to force hareidim to enlist, through the controversial Enlistment Law.

The operation in Jenin on Saturday was a joint effort by the Israel Police's SWAT (Yamam) team, IDF forces, and the ISA. The raid led to the death of Hamza Abu Alheja, 20, a member of the Hamas military wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades. 

Alheja barricaded himself in a Jenin home, after IDF forces from the Nahal Hareidi Brigade surrounded the home. Alheja then opened fire on the teams attempting to arrest the wanted terrorist; a violent confrontation broke out afterwards, injuring two SWAT team members. Molotov cocktails and explosive charges were thrown during the attempt and several rounds of live ammunition were fired. Alheja was killed in the process.