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Largest-ever class of haredi paratroopers sworn in at Western Wall

More than 50 religious soldiers were sworn in as paratroopers at a ceremony at the Western Wall, the largest-ever recruitment in a special company.

Soldiers from the Israel Defense Forces' ultra-Orthodox unit, the Netzah Yehuda Battalion, at prayer, on June 20, 2005. Photo by Abir Sultan/Flash90.
Soldiers from the Israel Defense Forces' ultra-Orthodox unit, the Netzah Yehuda Battalion, at prayer, on June 20, 2005. Photo by Abir Sultan/Flash90.

More than 50 ultra-Orthodox, or haredi, soldiers were sworn into the Paratroopers Brigade at a ceremony at the Western Wall on Thursday, the largest-ever recruitment in a special paratroop company.

While many eligible haredi males utilize exemptions to bypass Army service, growing numbers of eligible soldiers have been joining specialized units.

The ceremony marked the sixth draft class of the “Hetz” company formed in 2017.

Additional haredi units include the Netzach Yehuda Battalion of the Kfir Brigade infantry unit deployed in Judea and Samaria, and the Rotem Company in the amphibious Givati Brigade. Special accommodations include stringently kosher food, complete separation from female soldiers and a more religious environment.

Reports indicate that an additional such company will soon be opened in the Golani Brigade, the most highly decorated brigade in the Israel Defense Forces.

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