Kibbutz program launched to protect haredi soldiers

Kibbutz Movement’s Yoel Marshak says "If threatening circumstances arise, the volunteers will alert the police."

July 18, 2013 01:17
1 minute read.
MAN CELEBRATES with soldiers from the Kfir Brigade’s Netzah Yehuda Batallion.

MAN CELEBRATES with soldiers from the Kfir Brigade 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)


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The Kibbutz Movement is undertaking a protection program for haredi soldiers needing to enter the ultra-Orthodox – and increasingly radical – Jerusalem neighborhood of Mea Shearim, the group announced on Wednesday.

There are have been at least three incidents of physical attack or attempted physical attack on religious uniformed soldiers walking through the neighborhood in the past two weeks and the new initiative is a response to this problem.

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Yoel Marshak of the Kibbutz Movement’s Projects Division said on Tuesday that any male volunteers wishing to make themselves available to meet with haredi soldiers on Thursdays and Fridays at the edge of the neighborhood would be welcomed.

Any passing haredi soldier will then be able to avail himself of the services of the Kibbutz volunteers, several of whom will accompany him either in a vehicle or on foot to his destination.

If threatening circumstances arise, the volunteers will alert the police, Marshak said in a communiqué.

He added that the escorts will not be armed and that city authorities and the security services are already aware of the project.

The escort service will be available from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursdays and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Fridays, and will be provided from the junction of Sarei Yisrael Street and Rashi Street.

Marshak has called for as many volunteers as possible and said on Wednesday that 15 volunteers had already signed up.

“In every place where a soldier feels like he is threatened we’ll be there to help him,” said Marshak.

“We love and embrace those who are participating in the security of the state and so we have decided to help provide security for those who need it themselves.”

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