Israel Defers Draft Date of Ultra-Orthodox Yeshiva Students

Due to the delay in the passage of Israel’s new draft-reform bill, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon has decided to defer the conscription of yeshiva students who have already received their draft notices until November.

During the course of this year, 560 yeshiva students received draft notices in accordance with the Defense Service Law, which states that enlistment to the Israel Defense Forces is mandatory for all citizens who have turned 18. They were to be drafted on August 18.

Last week, Haredi lawmakers tore their clothes as a sign of mourning and held a special prayer service after the Knesset approved Yesh Atid’s draft-reform bill on its first reading by a vote of 64 to 21 on Tuesday morning. The bill, drafted by a committee headed by Jacob Perry (Yesh Atid), stipulates that Haredim who have reached age 18 will be obligated to join the army starting in 2020. According to the bill, over the next seven years — three years after the acclimation period that has been set for the reform — Haredim will be able to defer their enlistment until the age of 21 “to study Torah.”

The state is expected to submit an official response Monday, as part of a petition submitted on the draft issue to the High Court of Justice. Supreme Court President and Chief Justice Asher Grunis set a deadline of today for the state prosecutor to respond to the petitioners, and explain how the defense minister intends to act regarding yeshiva students who are supposed to report for duty starting this August.

Read more at Haaretz.com.

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Israel Defers Draft Date of Ultra-Orthodox Yeshiva Students

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