Some 400 haredi and religious youth will enlist on Thursday to the Netzah Yehuda regiment and to a new haredi infantry regiment currently being established.
Meanwhile, the IDF released a survey of feedback received from soldiers serving in the Haredi Service Route (HSR) in recent months, which shows that 76% of them are content with their military service.
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According to the survey, which sampled 200 HSR soldiers out of 2,000 (none of whom belong to the Netzah Yehuda regiment), 58% said that their role meets their expectations prior to their enlistment, and 90% said it is important for them to excel in their position.
Swearing in of Netzah Yehuda soldiers (Photo: EPA)
The survey also showed that 72% of the haredi soldiers think they benefit from their service, and 76% consider their service helpful for their future.
However, the survey did not include questions that could have revealed the soldiers' criticism toward the IDF's handling of the recent wave of attacks against haredi soldiers in haredi neighborhoods, against the backdrop of the anti-haredi-draft campaign.
The IDF explained that such questions were not included since the survey was prepared four months ago.
Nevertheless, 75% of those questioned agreed with the statement that the IDF is highly appreciated in Israeli society, and only 36% thought that those who do not serve in the IDF are as good citizens as those who serve.
The survey also showed that 37% of the HSR soldiers may consider becoming officers, and 55% wanted to pursue a career in the IDF.
But only 32% believed that every soldier must serve in the army reserves, though 78% thought that soldiers in their roles will be ready for an extensive reserve service.
Special training facility
"We were very surprised with the data since we thought many of them conceal their pride in their service," said a high-ranking officer in the IDF's Manpower Directorate.
"If we keep with the outline determined by the new law, then in five years 10,000 haredi soldiers will serve in the IDF."
The officer also remarked that by early 2014 a large sorting center for the haredi population will be established, which will be able to accommodate 40,000 haredi youth a year, including lectures, videos and interviews in which the different service options for haredim in the IDF will be presented.
The haredim to enlist on Thursday to the two haredi regiments will be integrated in a special training facility especially set up in the Jordan Valley.
In its first stage, 240 haredi soldiers will train in the facility, and in November, the number will rise to 640.
The staff trained to command the two regiments is composed purely of religious officers, and the base will include services and conditions tailored for haredi needs – among others, women will be banned from the premises.
A haredi soldier makes on average NIS 5,300 since most of them are married with children, as they aged 23.5 on average.
However, the average age of a Netzah Yehuda soldier is 19, and he makes only the standard NIS 800 fighter wages.
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