Knesset Approves: Government Will Advance Chareidi Draft Law Initiated By Gantz

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Early Tuesday morning, the Knesset plenum approved the ongoing application of the Draft Law, which exempts chareidim, whose “Torah is their craft,” from serving in the IDF.

The bill passed with 63 Knesset members voting in favor and 57 against, including Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. Except for Gallant, all coalition members supported the law.

This approval allows the coalition to advance the bill initially proposed by MK Benny Gantz in the previous Knesset regarding chareidi conscription, resuming the legislative process where it previously paused.

Thus, the government can expedite the bill’s progression to its second and third readings in the Knesset.

The legislation reduces the exemption age for chareidi yeshiva students from 26 to 21 and “gradually” increases the rate of chareidi enlistment in the IDF.

The proposal outlines that yeshiva students’ status will be formalized, with thousands of chareidim enlisting annually, while chareidi yeshivot will continue receiving state funding.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant commented before the vote, “I was not coordinated with Gantz and I am still not coordinated with Gantz. I am from the Likud and will remain in the Likud. I look at the soldiers in the eyes and they expect us to back them up. [They expect] that we will not do petty politics on the big backs of the soldiers.”

Following the vote, the National Unity Party stated, “The Prime Minister and the coalition proved tonight that they returned to October 6. During wartime, as IDF soldiers are fighting for their homeland, they are fighting to perpetuate the exemption from service. It is not too late to pass a broad and comprehensive outline that will satisfy the security and societal needs.”

Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman harshly criticized the legislation’s approval.

“In the dead of night, while the finest of our sons and daughters are fighting on the battlefield, the Israeli government took another step towards the evasion law, which does serious harm to IDF soldiers and reservists, and contrary to the needs of the defense establishment – all for political survival. The citizens of Israel deserve a different leadership that will be worthy of them.”

Opposition leader MK Yair Lapid also condemned the approval.

“One of the most despicable moments of shame of the Israeli Knesset ever. In the midst of another day of fighting in the Gaza Strip, the reckless government passes a law of evasion and refusal. It’s all politics. Zero values,” said Lapid.

{ Israel}


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