IDF source: Married haredi women with children to serve

10 haredi women to work in information gathering, code breaking, computer engineering; army to pay higher sum to accommodate mothers.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
January 10, 2011 10:32
1 minute read.
Haredi women graduating

311_haredi women at college. (photo credit: Melanie Lidman)

The IDF Intelligence Corps has increased its enlistment pool to include haredi women as well as haredi men, Israel Radio reported Monday morning.

Military Intelligence has decided to recruit 10 married haredi women with children. The soldiers will be able to combine a career and family life, and bring their young children or babies to the base.

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A military source confirmed these details, and said that the women will be placed in army intelligence units, including Unit 8200 (an information gathering and code breaking unit), computer engineering, and electronics units.

He added that the women will engage in software development and in the promotion of special intelligence projects.
Israel Radio reported that currently the IDF Intelligence Corps enlists the largest number of haredi soldiers - 60 soldiers - a quarter more than in previous years.

A senior army source told Israel Radio Monday that the IDF is still not ready for the enlistment of haredim to the army, and that often their recruitment becomes a financial burden on the army. Haredim often require higher wages due to various factors including marriage, dependents, and dietary restrictions.

These soldiers, he continued, also do not serve in combat units, and require complete separation from female soldiers. The source said that though his opinion is unpopular, lawmakers should also take such points into consideration.

The announcement that these 10 haredi women will begin service follows a plan approved by the government Sunday to double the number of haredi men serving in the IDF from 2,400 in 2011 to 4,800 in 2015, with half participating in national service and the other half in the IDF itself. The plan allocated NIS 130 million shekel to the IDF in order to aid in the absorption of haredim, which includes strict religious conditions for service.

Passed by a vote of 23-1 in the Knesset, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu praised the plan, calling it a "significant revolution," and claiming that the initiative will work to integrate haredim into greater Israeli society.

Herb Keinon contributed to this report


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