Bedouin soldier (Archives)
Photo: Chaim Hornstein
The IDF will work to ease the integration of discharged Bedouin soldiers into the workforce, Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi and Hassan al-Hayeb, chairman of the northern Bedouin council heads, agreed during a meeting in Tel Aviv Monday.
According to data presented at the meeting, the last two years have seen an increase of more than 200% in the number of Bedouins who join the IDF. Nine Bedouins enlisted in the Golani Brigade during the November 2009 draft. An IDF official told Ynet that most Bedouins become IDF trackers or join reconnaissance units stationed along Israel's borders with Gaza and Egypt.
According to the source, the rise in Bedouin recruits can be attributed to a joint effort on the part of community leaders and the army's Human Resources Branch.
He said the IDF also plans to establish a pre-military academy for the sector's youth, where "values such as leadership and love for Israel will be strengthened.
"In this way we will better prepare them for the IDF and reduce the gaps between the Bedouins and other sectors of society," said the officer.
The IDF has also shortened the process in which Bedouin soldiers are granted security clearance.
During the meeting with Ashkenazi, Al-Hayeb asked that the IDF urge government offices to help discharged Bedouin soldiers find work.