Haredi Border Police Recruits
Haredi Border Police RecruitsIsrael Police

The Israel Police are reserving dozens of positions for haredi recruits, within a program initiated by Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir, aimed at enlisting yeshiva students without compromising their way of life.

Israel Hayom reported that the positions include cyber investigators, detectives in the investigations and intelligence departments, digital and technological policing in the training department, maintenance and support in the logistics support department, religious affairs officers in the Police Rabbinate, and the establishment of a program similar to the IDF's haredi units in the police.

According to the report, discussions on the subject led to an understanding in the police that the way to recruit haredim into its ranks and make them operational should be done by identifying haredi ex-military personnel and turning them into security volunteers.

At the end of a 30-hour training session, primarily in the use of weapons, the recruits will be able to sign out weapons at the beginning of each shift and return them at the end. Their main task will be to secure their residential areas and provide a quick response force even in synagogues.

Ben-Gvir ordered to double the number of recruits and allocated 1,200 positions for this purpose. Currently, there are 358 haredi policemen and 65 haredi policewomen. Of these, 230 are permanent, including 36 officers and 208 sergeants. Additionally, about 60 conscripts in the police are haredi.

"Our goal is to bring as many haredim as possible into the police, who will also be able to maintain a religious way of life as they wish and on the other hand - contribute to the state, as the haredi community does and contributes endlessly over the years, only this time they can contribute through the police. The plan I initiated along with professional elements in the police is important and feasible," the minister said.

Deputy Commissioner Nir Carmeli adds that within the training, haredi recruits will not be allowed to handle events that could put them in conflict, such as neighbor disputes - except under suspicion of a security incident or a life-saving event - and their main task will be providing security responses in the areas they are deployed as scouts. "They will work within a familiar community and conduct patrols in crowded places, such as during the inauguration of Torah scrolls and at weddings, including securing yeshivas where they study," he said.

Out of 80 candidates, 12 young haredim were selected for the pilot of the new program. Another pilot is for the integration of haredim in police call centers - with complete separation of genders - to moderate the high workload on the national control center, which is likely to reduce the response time to callers to less than 15 seconds.

It was also reported that another project is underway to recruit haredim for the Border Police, and about two and a half weeks ago, about 30 haredim joined it with the help of the IDF. Upon completion of full basic training, they are expected to move to a dedicated facility prepared for them and to integrate as fighters in missions in the Jerusalem periphery, in ISA arrests, and in securing border crossings and central routes.

Minister Ben-Gvir has recently moved to recruit more deeply religious figures to the Israel Police in other ways. When religious General Ofer Winter was dismissed from the IDF amid extensive allegations that he was being removed for his religious views, Minister Ben-Gvir offered him a highly-placed police position shortly thereafter. When the US State Department attempted to sanction the haredi Netzach Yehudah battalion in the IDF, Minister Ben-Gvir stated that if Defense Minister Yoav Gallant did not declare his support for the battalion, he would request that the entire battalion be reassigned to the Border Police.