A new education program approved in the past few days is supposed to focus on Hilltop Youth and convince them to cease from committing "price tags", Yedioth Ahronoth reported Thursday.
The program, which will be named "The Hebrew Shepherd", will be run not only by the Education Ministry, but also by the Shin Bet Internal Security Service, Social Affairs Ministry and Justice Ministry. Last week the program was approved by the Prime Minister's Office.
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"The Hebrew Shepherd" proposal states that the project's purpose is to "empower and support the Hilltop Youth" through "strengthening the ethical spirit beating in the hearts of the Hilltop Youth and navigating it for the benefit of the State of Israel and of their own."
On the other hand, in a letter by Education Ministry Director General Dalit Stauber it is specifically said that the program is "part of a systematic effort to eradicate crimes of nationalistic nature," better known by the name "price tags".
A few days ago Stauber turned to several government offices and security forces to appoint representatives for an inter-ministerial committee to form a working plan. Among the list of the request recipients are PMO's Director General, Shin Bet Chief, Israeli Police Chief, Head of Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria and Justice Ministry Director General.
"Due to the significant involvement of minors in 'price tag' activities, 'The Hebrew Shepherd' was created in order to give a constructive educational-welfare response to the population of boys and girls at risk in Judea and Samaria, as part of the efforts to eradicate these kinds of nationalist crimes," Stauber said.
The defined target audience for "The Hebrew Shepherd" is young boys aged 14-18, living in the hilltops. The program emphasizes it will work to "locate children expected to deviate to the ways of the Hilltop Youth."
The program was classified as secret so as to not hurt the chances of its success among suspicious groups of boys, yet its details reached Yitzhar's spokesperson, Avraham Binyamin, a social worker who writes for the religious-nationalist paper "Besheva".
Welfare worker from Samaria Eliyahu Farjoon says the rumors about the project have already reached the boys as well, although due to the cooperation with the Shin Bet and the police, the boys express concerns and suspicion. "It is clear to them that everything the system gets through the welfare or education channels also goes through the police," Farjoon noted.
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