An Ultra-Orthodox eighteen-year-old girl was arrested last week by the IDF for failing to respond to draft notices, and was later forced to enlist.
According to Hebrew media reports, the girl, identified only as L., was arrested in her home in the Haredi city of Elad overnight Wednesday by several soldiers, after she did not show up at the induction center to apply for an army exemption.
She was then brought before a military court, which ordered her to cooperate with the IDF. The court told her that to receive an exemption on religious grounds, she would have to report to the induction center with a statement from a local rabbinical court attesting to her religious lifestyle. She was then freed to her home.
L. reported to the army center on Thursday with the documents, but was reportedly prevented from appearing before the religious committee and was forced to sign an enlistment letter. After 14 hours, she was sent home, in army uniform, and ordered to return to complete the enlistment process.
L. then fled, and was said to be hiding out. Ultra-Orthodox Knesset members were reportedly intervening on her behalf.
“If the efforts by the MKs don’t work, a protest will be launched nationwide, shutting down the entire country from top to bottom, and rabbis from all communities will participate and back the protest,” a statement from a hardline ultra-Orthodox group affiliated with Rabbi Shmuel Auerbach said.
Ultra-Orthodox and Orthodox women are generally granted exemptions from the IDF on religious grounds, provided they receive a letter from a rabbinical court maintaining that army service violates their religious lifestyle. The ultra-Orthodox community is fiercely opposed to army service for both men and women.