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Photos: Ohas Zwigenberg, Ofer Amram, Haim Tzach, Ido Erez
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Haredim to be required to serve state
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Avigdor Lieberman
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Yisrael Beiteinu seeks to postpone Knesset dissolution
Lieberman's party proposes postponing dissolution by a week to allow legislation of IDF enlistment bill

A day before the Knesset is set to be dissolved the Yisrael Beiteinu faction submitted a request to coalition chairman MK Zeek Elkin to postpone the step by a week in order to allow a vote on the party's new enlistment bill.

 

The new bill aims to replace the Tal Law on haredi enlistment which will expire in July. Sources in the coalition said that the request is not likely to be granted. On Monday, the Ministerial Committee on Legislative Affairs is set to discuss a total of five bills concerning IDF service.

 

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"Since most of the house faction support our bill, there is no reason to rush and dissolve the Knesset," Yisrael Beiteinu faction chairman MK Robert Ilatov said. "Our goal is not to start the recess without the Tal Law issue being addressed."

 

Yisrael Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Lieberman announced that the bill will be brought before the Ministerial Committee in an effort to achieve legislation prior to the Knesset's dissolution.

 


בדרך לבחירות כלליות, הכנסת ה-18 צפויה לסיים את תפקידה (צילום: גיל יוחנן)

Knesset set to be dissolved on Monday (Photo: Gil Yohanan)

 

The Yisrael Beiteinu bill establishes mandatory enlistment and requires that haredim as well as other minority groups contribute to the state, if not through IDF service then through national civil service. The bill also sets a quota for religious exemptions which will also apply to seculars who excel in sports, technology, sciences and more.

 

The faction will also put forward another bill which proposes increasing state grants to discharged troops who pursue engineering and technological studies.

 

Meanwhile, Defense Minister Ehud Barak announced that his Independence faction will also be submitting a national service bill to the Ministerial Committee. According to the bill, the IDF will select the eligible recruits and the rest will be required to spend a year in civil service.

 

The bill also sets a quota of up to 10% of yeshiva students who will be exempt of civil service.

The opposition's largest party Kadima is also seeking to put forward an enlistment bill of its own.

 

The party has called all house factions to pass the bill during the Knesset's current term. Kadima Chairman Shaul Mofaz is set to convene a press conference in which he will address the draft issue and the prospect of early elections.

 

Meawhile, Kadima faction members are preparing various draft bills meant to improve soldiers' conditions.

 

 

 

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