Pictures: Haredi Troops Brush Up their Skills in Major Exercise

Soldiers from the Netzah Yehuda battalion – formerly known as Nahal Haredi – took part in a special winter exercise this week in the Jordan valley.

The entire battalion took part in the exercise, which lasted for 72 hours in total.

Netzah Yehuda was founded in 1999 to cater for haredi Israelis to allow them to serve in the IDF without having to compromise on their specific religious requirements, but today also includes many religious-Zionists looking for a more "Torah-orientated" environment for their service.

Against the backdrop of normally barren hills now turned to a spectacular green due to recent rains, troops practiced intensive combat drills in both open terrain and built-up areas, together with their commanders and officers.

The major training exercise takes place twice a year, with the summer exercise scheduled for August.

The soldiers were joined by Rabbi Yaron David of the Nahal Haredi foundation, who helped lead prayer services during the drills.

Rabbi David lauded Netzah Yehuda's "highly motivated" soldiers, "particularly while in the background we heard the sounds of war from the northern region."

Remarkably, he says "the soldiers themselves complained that the exercise was too short, and were happy for a refresher course in the field.



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