IDF to issue draft orders for ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students next month

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announces plans to begin drafting 3,000 ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students next month, following Supreme Court ruling.

By World Israel News Staff

The Israeli military will begin the process of drafting 3,000 ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students next month, Israel’s defense minister said Tuesday, in keeping with last month’s landmark Supreme Court ruling.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (Likud) met with IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi Tuesday to discuss plans to begin drafting yeshiva students, in keeping with the Supreme Court’s ruling last month that instructed the government to immediately induct 3,000 yeshiva students who are now eligible for the draft, following the court’s overturning of the previous draft deferment law.

At the end of their meeting, the two agreed that beginning in August, the army would mail out draft calls to yeshiva students in order to meet the quota set by the court’s ruling.

While 1,800 ultra-Orthodox men have already been inducted as part of the current annual draft cycle, the court has ordered that 3,000 more be immediately drafted into the IDF.

Gallant and Halevi agreed during their meeting that the army would take steps to ensure that the newly inducted soldiers be able to maintain their religious lifestyle.

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On June 25th, the court ruled against the Israeli government’s decision to continue to issue annual draft deferments to full-time yeshiva students and to fund students relying on the deferments despite the court’s striking down of the draft law years earlier.

Following the ruling, Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara instructed the IDF to immediately implement the ruling by drafting 3,000 ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students.

In 2012, the Supreme Court struck down the Tal Law, which was passed a decade earlier, maintaining draft deferments for yeshiva students while encouraging ultra-Orthodox men to join either the army or the workforce.

Two years later, the Netanyahu-Lapid government replaced the law with legislation aimed at achieving specific enlistment quotas in the ultra-Orthodox sector, but the law was replaced in 2015, largely restoring the status quo ante.

In 2017, the court again struck down the draft law, granting multiple extensions to the state to pass new legislation. Last month, however, the final extension expired, prompting the court to find the government’s continuation of the draft deferments and funding of yeshiva students now eligible for the draft to be unconstitutional.

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