Dozens of young women from the Bnei Akiva religious- Zionist youth movement have written to the organization’s director, Elhanan Glatt, in protest at his comments against religious girls enlisting in the IDF.

The number of religious women enlisting to the IDF has dramatically increased in recent years, despite strong disapproval of religious-Zionist rabbis.

Speaking to Arutz Sheva, Glatt said Bnei Akiva’s stance is that religious women enlisting “should not be encouraged,” and he emphasized the movement’s opposition to religious women serving in combat units “This is exactly what should not be done, and we are making great efforts to explain to the girls that this is not the proper or successful way to contribute to the State of Israel,” he said. Those who do decide to enlist, however, should be given appropriate guidance to help them through their IDF service, according to Glatt. ץץץ

Figures recently released by the IDF show that 2,159 women from the religious-Zionist sector enlisted to the IDF in 2015, approximately 25% of the roughly 7,000 religious-Zionist women who graduate from high school every year.