Demonstration against haredi National Service volunteers
Demonstration against haredi National Service volunteers Eliran Aharon

The legal adviser to the Defense Ministry attorney, Ahaz ben Ari,yesterday appealed to the Justice Ministry for legal aid to haredi soldiers who have been harassed because of being drafted.

The basis of the initiative is interministerial cooperation for the sake of providing legal aid in civil lawsuits to those soldiers who were attacked, to enable them to sue and possibly receive compensation for emotional distress, defamation, and more.

Attorney ben Ari points out in his letter to attorney Orit Kotev, Deputy Attorney General: "We are dealing intensively with the subject of haredi soldiers being harassed for their service in the IDF. There is no doubt that this is a serious phenomenon that not only affects the soldiers themselves, but creates an atmosphere of delegitimization and intimidation among the haredi community, aimed at deterring potential recruits from entering regular service."

Ben Ari estimates that there are dozens of potential civil claims of this kind and wrote, "We seek to expand the fight against harassment via civil suits against individuals who wronged soldiers. According to information provided us by our office's Security/Social Wing, there are currently 30 such potential civil claims."

This move follows Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman's appeal last August to Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, in which he sought to act against the attackers as criminals.

The Defense Ministry initiated the process as part of a campaign against harassment of haredi recruits who are in distress from these attacks and are helpless against their assailants. The ministry said it will continue to act with all means at its disposal to ensure the safety of haredi soldiers and all soldiers.