To match Insight ISRAEL/RELIGION-IDF

 
To match Insight ISRAEL/RELIGION-IDF
REFILE - CORRECTING LOCATION IN BYLINE Jewish settlers and Israeli soldiers cry as they pray in a synagogue in the Neve Dekalim settlement in the Gush Katif bloc of Jewish settlements, in the southern Gaza Strip, in this file picture taken August 17, 2005. The Israeli Defence Force (IDF) has always been a 'Jewish' army. Its rations are kosher, its chaplains are rabbis, and it operates - with the exception of wartime - around the festival calendar. It has never drafted soldiers from Israel's 20-percent Arab minority. But its Jewish identity has always been more cultural than religious. IDF personnel data suggests that's changing. Around 57 percent of Israel's Jewish majority, census figures show, define themselves as religiously observant to some degree. Two relatively small but distinct groups of religious Israelis are growing both in numbers and in power in the military: the ascetic, often apolitical and ultra-pious 'haredim', who join up despite their community's exemption from
Tags: Gaza , WHO