The tumultuous relations between the IDF and its religious soldiers suffered another blow this week after three religious soldiers have been incarcerated for refusing an order.
The affair began when four hesder yeshiva soldiers who were sent to undergo an observation balloon operating course several days ago, refused to enter the classroom when they found out that the course would be delivered by female soldiers.
The course's commander urged the soldiers not to leave the course, explaining that the conditions in class fell in line with the "proper integration" rules agreed upon by rabbis and the army.
However, the soldiers insisted not to attend the course, and were consequently put on trial and sentenced to 21 days in military prison.
Officials at the troops' hesder yeshiva backed up their decision, but IDF officers claimed that the troops had "crossed the line."
"The IDF has given religious soldiers quite a bit of leeway, but this time we could not have created a precedent that could alter the status quo in the order of training," a senior GOC army headquarters officer said.
The IDF's Spokesperson's Unit said in response that "The IDF makes an effort to maintain the rules of proper integration in its bases. The class in question was a theoretical one, in accordance with these rules."