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Photo by: Marc Israel Sellem / The Jerusalem Post
Border Police opens service course for haredim
By JEREMY SHARON
10/29/2012
Civilian Service Directorate for haredi men, designed as an alternative to military service, says dozens can join.
 
The Civilian Service Directorate for haredi men, designed as an alternative to military service, announced on Monday that it has opened a new course for recruits in the Border Police force.

According to the directorate, dozens of men from the ultra- Orthodox sector will be able to join the unit, which will serve in the Judea region as part of operational deployments designed to prevent infiltration in and around Jerusalem.

Recruitment for the civilian service program is currently frozen because it was established through the “Tal Law,” which expired at the beginning of August.

No recruits have been enlisted since then but civilian service director Sar-Shalom Gerbi expressed hope on Monday that a temporary government order will soon be issued to provide a short-term legal solution to the problem, and allow renewed enlistment.

“We’re talking about a skillful segment of the population which can contribute greatly to the security of the State of Israel with this integration into Border Police missions,” Border Police Cmdr. Yoram Halevy said.

“The course focuses on integrating them into operations for defending the seam zone and preventing the entry of terrorists and hostile elements, and I have no doubt that their contribution will be a significant force-multiplier in this complex and sensitive task.”

The new course was designed by the directorate in close coordination with the Border Police. Gerbi and Halevy met on Sunday, together with civilian service volunteers to unveil the new course.

The haredi recruits will be led throughout their service by Border Police staff and officers, who will also conduct the unit’s six-week training course.

The directorate emphasized that the course would enable the haredi recruits to maintain their lifestyle. The unit will be operative five days a week, not including Friday and Saturday.

“We are working to expand the number of courses available within the civilian service ahead of a new round of enlistment,” Gerbi said. “I have no doubt that the haredi recruits who will join the Border Police will serve as members of the force in every respect and will be an important component in all the required operational activities.”

Surprise was expressed in some quarters over the announcement, given that the Border Police are frequently deployed to deal with riots in haredi neighborhoods which often involving violent confrontations.
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