Haredi women to serve in IDF Intelligence units

10 Haredi women to work in information gathering, code breaking, and computer engineering units; part of army bid to increase number of haredi soldiers

311_haredi women at college (photo credit: Melanie Lidman)
311_haredi women at college
(photo credit: Melanie Lidman)
Not only has the IDF Intelligence Corps increased its enlistment pool to include haredi men, but now women too will enlist. Military intelligence has decided to recruit ten married haredi women with children. The soldiers will be able to combine a career and family life, and come with their young children or babies onto the base.
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 these women will engage in software development and in the promotion of special intelligence projects. As of now, Israel Radio reports, the IDF Intelligence Corps enlists the largest number of haredi soldiers--60 soldiers--a quarter more than in previous years.
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A senior army source has said 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. He added that many of the haredi enlistees are married or with children, and the IDF is required to pay them higher wages, and that haredim in the army are in need of special conditions such as kashrut and complete separation from women.
These soldiers, he continued, also do not serve in fighter units. In his opinion, lawmakers should hear this opinion as well, though it is not so popular or easily accepted.
This announcement follows a recent 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.
Passes 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.