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Ultra-Orthodox Army Exemption Continues for Now

The Israeli government will have to extend the Tal Law, which allows yeshiva students to delay their military service, until new legislation can be drafted, the country’s Interior Minister said.

Israel’s Interior Minister Eli Yishai said Thursday that the law will likely be extended for at least a year, despite the fact that the Supreme Court earlier this week declared the law unconstitutional.

He made the comments following a “lengthy conversation” with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Ynet reported.

Yishai, who is also head of the haredi Orthodox Shas Party, accused the Treasury of preventing the enlistment of haredi Orthodox men, saying that they have been turned down for national service due to a lack of funded positions.

The Tal Law, named for retired Supreme Court justice Tzvi Tal and enacted in 2002 under then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak, allows full-time yeshiva students to delay their army service until age 23. At that time, students either can continue to study full time or perform a shortened army service or a year of national service. Afterward they may choose to join the workforce.

On Wednesday, the Knesset rejected two bills that would have required all Israeli citizens, including the haredi Orthodox, to serve in the military or national service.

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