The IDF Ground Forces Command has decided to transfer four female soldiers from
an Artillery Corps battalion to another unit due to the upcoming arrival of
religious soldiers to the battalion, military sources said on Monday.
four female soldiers had recently signed on for an additional year of service to
continue serving in the battalion. Several days ago, they were summoned by the
battalion commander and informed that they would be stationed in another unit
upon the arrival of the religious soldiers, who cannot serve alongside female
News of the decision was first revealed by Israel Radio
Military correspondent Carmela Menashe, and caused an uproar in the Knesset
where MK Rachel Adatto (Kadima) called for the Knesset Foreign Affairs and
Defense Committee to hold an urgent meeting to discuss women’s roles in the
“It is unacceptable that women will be moved from jobs that they
fought [for] and work in their commander’s office instead, so they won’t be
seen,” Adatto said. “Women should not suffer so Haredim can enlist. Haredi
soldiers can serve in their own units.
“We cannot take women away from
the roles they attained with integrity and hard work. The situation in the IDF
cannot go back to the way it used to be.”
The four soldiers wrote a
letter to the commander of their battalion and said the decision to remove them
from the unit appeared to be unfair and was based “on sectarian considerations
and not qualifications.”
Earlier this month, the IDF announced it was
expanding its specialized tracks for ultra- Orthodox soldiers and will open up
the first haredi battery in the Artillery Corps.
The plan has received
the approval of leading haredi rabbis who recently toured the Artillery Corps’
bases throughout southern and northern Israel and signed off on the
In total, about 60 haredi youth will be drafted into the
Artillery Corps in November and will form a new battery.
Spokesman’s Office said in response the soldiers were up for transfer due to the
arrival of yeshiva students into the unit.
“A final decision has yet to
be made and in any case, the status of the female soldiers in combat positions
will not be harmed,” the statement said.