Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi
Chief of Staff Herzi HaleviIDF spokesperson

IDF Chief of Staff LTG Herzi Halevi held a situational assessment and tour in the central Gaza Strip with the Commanding Officer of the Southern Command, MG Yaron Finkelman, the Commanding Officer of the 99th Division, BG Barak Hiram, and other reserve commanders.

During the tour, LTG Halevi commented: “We want to expand our numbers as much as possible. To those who come to enlist, I tell you that there is an opportunity for change in the haredi community. We are not seeing enough people coming forward to draft, the base is not broad enough, but there is a desire for change. We want to move forward, not because it's a pleasant thing to do, [but] first and foremost because it's necessary.”

He added: “A [haredi] battalion that we will establish, will manage a sector in the Jordan Valley, will manage a sector in Judea and Samaria, will manage a defensive position here. Every such battalion that we establish, a haredi battalion, decreases the need for the deployment of many thousands of reservists, thanks to an increased number of enlisted servicemen. Now this is a distinct need. We strongly encourage it, and we want to do it right. We want to do it well."

The Chief of Staff noted: "On the other hand, we talk to the people. It's a privilege. We protect the country. Now, people have started doing it. I know it's difficult, and by the way, it's completely natural, for those who have already spent eight months with few breaks.

Halevi concluded: “For people who are not home, who are reservists and who need to balance reserve duty with civilian life and work and family and everything else in their lives, we don’t take it for granted. On the other hand, we need to move this forward. I want you to know and repeat this, “We are making a great effort to ensure good conditions for our people.”

הרמטכ"ל על גיוס חרדים: "צורך מובהק"צילום: דובר צה"ל