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Haredim at recruitment center
Photo: Tzvika Tishler
Number of IDF recruits to hit 20-year low in 2013
Gradual decline in number of recruits linked to lower birth rate, drop in number of olim; some 26% exempt from military service; IDF plans major haredi draft

The IDF will enlist in 2013 the lowest number of new draftees in 20 years, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Friday. 

 

The number of new recruits has been on the decline since 2005 due to a gradual decline in the birth rate and in the number of new olim, as well as an increase in exemption from army service.

 

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About 26% of those eligible for army service in 2013 will not be drafted, according to the report. Some 13.5% will be exempted for religious reasons, 4% for mental reasons, 2% for health reasons, 3% due to criminal records and 3% reside abroad.

 

According to the IDF Manpower Directorate, the numbers are expected to rise unless proper legislation is enacted and haredi draft is approved by the government.

 

The IDF successfully finished sorting 3000 haredi youths, who were born on 1994 and 1995.

 

Following the Tal Law's expiration, the IDF will draft for the first time thousands of haredim in accordance with the mandatory army service law, pending government approval.

 

The number of haredi draftees is set to rise, potentially reaching 8000 a year, though some will not be enlisted due to medical exemptions or residence abroad.

 

In 2012 some 1400 haredim enlisted in the IDF, but only for voluntary non-committal service.

 

In another step to be taken to combat low draft numbers, the IDF intends to increase the numbers of women draftees, and to designate many of them for technological roles.

 

 

As relatively few women meet the criteria for technological roles, the IDF has started a program to encourage high school girls to undertake technological, physics or computer science courses.

 

 

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