TEL AVIV - As the campaign against the disengagement reaches its peak, senior officers in the IDF have expressed wariness about drafting hesder yeshiva students, who they say may refuse orders and fail to participate in the pullout.
Hesder yeshivas allow students to combine religious studies with a shortened military service.
“IDF commanders are worried about the possibility of receiving hesder yeshiva soldiers because they may refuse orders,” said the head of IDF Personnel Directorate, major general Elazar Stern. Stern was addressing ultra-Orthodox soldiers who had just been drafted into the army.
He told the soldiers that the IDF will continue to take a harsh line against order refusal of any kind. If the army adopted a compromising approach towards soldiers who didn’t want to be part of the disengagement today, tomorrow some soldiers would say they didn’t want to guard Kiriyat Arba or the Jewish community in Hebron, said Stern.
As the army continues to combat order refusal among the ranks of soldiers who had joined the army after coming out of yeshiva, a 21-year old draftee was sentenced to 21 days of military prison for refusing to take part in an operation linked to the Gaza pullout.
The incident, marking the latest case of order refusal, started yesterday when the soldier was asked to serve in the IDF’s command and control center guiding forces encircling the Gaza, in preparation for the pullout. The soldier refused the order, saying he would not be part of the disengagement.