Soldiers of the "Karakal" during training
Soldiers of the "Karakal" during training Picture: Hadas Porush, Flash 90

The IDF began to place support troops from Hesder Yeshivot into mixed-gender communications battalions within the 162nd Division of the Southern Command and in the 98th Division of the Central Command.

Soldiers from multiple Yeshivot turned to the Ministry of Defense, as well as to the organization Tzav Echad, and voiced their complaint that they had been assigned to these units who operate in close proximity to female soldiers in the field.

Communication troops operate shoulder to shoulder with female soldiers on a day to day basis although living quarters are separate, as per IDF standards. The soldiers reported ongoing joint activities including trips and even combat treks with stretchers.

The soldiers explained to Tzav Echad that they had already turned to the Union of Hesder Yeshivot who were indeed making a concerted effort through the IDF and the Chaplaincy in the past months in order to transfer units to no avail.

The Tzav Echad organisation maintain that "the Joint-Service Order is a bad order which creates an insufferable reality in which Torah observant soldiers are harmed every day. There is no reason why a Torah observant soldier should be forced to serve in contradiction to his beliefs and receive descriminatory treatment relative to other methods of service. We demand that the Chief of Staff, Gadi Eisenkot treat each observant soldier accordingly, in reference to the equality regulations, with no regard to the color of his kippa."

Union of Hesder Yeshivot:

"All assignments given to soldiers of the Hesder Yeshivot are coordinated and agreed upon between the Union and the Man Power Directorate of the IDF. What we're dealing with is a mistake and therefore the assignment of these soldiers will be changes. The Union will continue to accompany it's students anywhere and work to arrange serving conditions suitable for the nature of Yeshiva students."

Torah Mitzion Beit Midrash
Torah Mitzion Beit Midrash INN:TM