In light of the apparent cuts in the defense budget, the IDF is also considering the possibility of shortening the service time of some IDF regular troops serving in administrative positions. Moreover, the IDF is planning to cut a significant number of positions among its external advisors.
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In spite of the complexity of the security challenges it creates, the IDF has stressed that the planned cuts will not include the 7,400 civilians employed by the IDF nor will it prevent the enlistment of soldiers eligible for special service conditions.
Barbivai at the press briefing (Photo: Yoav Zitun)
At a press briefing, Major General Barbivai presented the IDF manpower statistics for 2011 which showed that 67% of those conscripted to the IDF do so and noted that in 2020 only 64.1% are expected to enlist in the IDF.
Among men 25% do not enlist while 40.9% of women do not enlist to the IDF. The IDF expressed concern over the high percentage of women who do not enlist and noted that in three years the numbers are set to hit 41.4%
Of the women who do not enlist, 35% cited religious grounds, though the IDF believes that seven percent received false exemptions.
Yet the IDF also commended the growing number of haredim who serve in the IDF. In the current year 1,200 haredi men enlisted in the National Service program (Sherut Leumi) in addition to the 450 haredim who enlisted in the special haredi infantry regiment and 650 haredim who enlisted in various designated service programs.
Addressing recent bills that were proposed in the Knesset in recent days according to which soldiers in regular service would receive minimum wage, Major General Barbivai said that "the IDF was having difficulties finding the financial resources to raise troop salaries and so it must come from sources outside of the defense budget."
Barbivai, the first woman in the IDF to receive the rank of Major General in the IDF, also addressed the issue of women's singing in the IDF and noted that "each soldier must be given the opportunity to sing in any ceremony, on any stage but if possible, being considerate must also be taken into account."
As for women and religious people serving in the IDF she added that "members of the religious community and women should be given the opportunity to serve in a meaningful way…we cannot give up on that."
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