West Bank settlers who complete their mandatory army service are more likely to become reserve
troops than residents of other parts of Israel,
according to a report released by the IDF
According to the report, 34% of IDF troops who hail from the West Bank
are called in to report for reserve service. In comparison, 29% of former troops from northern Israel are summoned for reserve duty, while the percentage stands at 28% in central Israel, 28% in Jerusalem and 27% in southern Israel.
Of those who are summoned, 69% are combat troops.
The data shows that more than 80% of discharged troops who are called upon by the IDF actually report for reserve duty. The IDF estimates that in a state of emergency, the rate could hit 110%.
Only 5% do reserve service (Illustration: Michael Kramer)
The report indicates that only 5% of the eligible population serves in the reserve forces; although it should be noted that the army has no use for most of potential reservists.
In order to bolster group cohesiveness within the reserve units, the IDF increased the number of days each soldier serves annually. The change went into effect this year and was expected to be implemented next year as well.
Army officials say that reservists don't get the respect they deserve despite their contribution.
"According the an extensive poll that we conducted, 50% of businesses refuse to employ reservists, and I understand them," Chief Reserve Officer, Brig.Gen. Shuki Ben Anat, said.
"The authorities must realize that they can and should by all means ease up on reservists," he added, noting that the benefits that the troops receive fail to legitimize reserve service.
Also according to the data, the average age of reservists is 31. About half are married. Nearly three quarters have received higher education, Twenty-two percent are self-employed.
Moreover, 14% of reservists who were called up this year were women – compared to 8% in 2008.
Nearly a fifth – 19% – were born abroad. Of them, 1,200 were born in Georgia, 720 are from Iran, 30 are from the Philippines and five are from Bahrain.
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