Netanyahu says not possible to get 'complete agreement' on Haredi conscription

The prime minister tries to put out fires during news conference; He calls elections during wartime 'the dream of Hamas, Nasrallah and Iran'; On hostage deal: 'We are running into a brick wall of delusional, unrealistic Hamas demands'

Yuval Karni|
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met reporters on Thursday evening in Tel Aviv and tried to put out the fire ignited in his government coalition by Defense Minister Yoav Gallant's statement regarding the conscription law. Netanyahu said that even though the government will advance targets for ultra-Orthodox recruitment and reward military veterans, "complete agreement" will not be reached. Gallant himself had spoken only of agreement within the coalition.
<< Follow Ynetnews on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | TikTok >>
Read more:
In his remarks, Netanyahu promised to promote a law that would reward military veterans, with among other things purchasing land in the periphery, and also came out against the lengthening of reserve service, while explaining that the IDF can recruit reserve fighters under an Order 8 call-up notice as needed. He said of the ultra-Orthodox exemption: " I deeply cherish Torah study but one cannot ignore the discrepancy in the division of the burden.”
3 View gallery
ראש הממשלה בנימין ביבי נתניהו בהצהרה
ראש הממשלה בנימין ביבי נתניהו בהצהרה
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu talks to reporters
(Photo: GPO )
According to Netanyahu, the "ultra-Orthodox public recognizes this" and added that it is time to change the situation, and "that's why targets have been set for the recruitment of ultra-Orthodox for the IDF and civil service. This can be achieved without dividing the people and without inciting against any group. But one thing is clear to me - it is impossible to achieve complete agreement. Such an agreement exists only in North Korea. “Anyone who wants complete agreement won’t get any agreement."
"I spoke with representatives of the ultra-Oorthodox," added Netanyahu. "I get the impression that there is a change and there is an understanding that we need to move to another stage, to a clear outline of potions. I am optimistic that an agreement can be reached."
Netanyahu, who fears that Gallant's decision will eventually lead to new elections, said that "would mean the end of the war, the defeat of Israel.” He pointed out that going to new elections would mean "six months in which the government and the Knesset will be paralyzed and divided. In this situation, the government's hands will be tied and it will not be able to make decisions - not about the hostages, not about Hezbollah, not about Rafah. The soldiers will also be divided, there will be emotions, camps, defiance. This is a fatal shot in the middle of nowhere and it must not happen while we are close to victory. General elections mean the defeat of Israel. This is the dream of Hamas, Nasrallah and Iran, and all members of the cabinet know what am I talking about."
3 View gallery
יואב גלנט
יואב גלנט
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told reporters he wanted agreement by the government's coalition partners on new haredi draft legislation
(Photo: GPO)
Opposition Leader Yair Lapid called Netanyahu's appearance "another hysterical show of a failed and guilty prime minister. Israel will only win if this failed government takes responsibility and resigns. All the slogans and beautiful sentences will not hide the failure."
Gallant said on Wednesday that without the agreement of all the parties of the emergency government, he will not submit the conscription law. He called on Netanyahu to come to an agreement on ultra-Orthodox military service, and emphasized that "everyone must bear the burden."
The standoff could lead to the dissolution of the Knesset and new elections.
Gallant convened a press conference two days after the High Court hearing on the petitions filed against the government's decision not to conscript ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students. The High Court judges ruled that the state must explain why the government's decision preventing the enforcement of yeshiva students' service will not be revoked, and why they are not being recruited in view of the expiration of the current conscription law. In addition, the state must explain why yeshiva students deserve financial support. The judges ruled that the state must submit its answers in late March, which adds pressure on the government to try and reach a solution as soon as possible.
According to the general conscription law - those who have reached the age of 26 and have not yet been conscripted, will no longer be conscripted into the army. In accordance with the law, which had expired, the ultra-Orthodox received a deferral of service, and every year thousands of students were added to the list of those were not drafted because they had reached the age of exemption. There are about 63,000 yeshiva students who were eligible to enlist when the law expired, and with each passing day more yeshiva students reach the age of exemption. For the IDF, this is a personnel potential of tens of thousands of soldiers, who could be integrated into various roles - not necessarily combat roles.
3 View gallery
Israeli soldiers operate in Gaza
(Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
Netanyahu opened his statement to reporters by referring to the Eli attack, which left two Israelis dead. He then moved on to talk about the war in the Gaza Strip, and said that there are two systems that are running at the same time - the military and the political. "The political campaign is designed to give the military campaign the time and resources to achieve the goals, until the complete victory is achieved. We are given unprecedented freedom of action, and as prime minister I must protect our existential interests - even when they are increasing."
According to Netanyahu, "the international pressures on us are increasing, and I rejected the tremendous pressures to end the war." He also said that public opinion in the U.S. helps Israel continue the campaign.
Later, Netanyahu referred to the negotiations for another deal with Hamas, saying that he demands to know in advance the names of all the hostages who will be released as part of it. "We are working around the clock and making great efforts to succeed, this is a sacred goal," he clarified, saying that it is too early to know if an outline will be reached. "We will not fold in the face of Hamas's demands, because if we fold we simply won't be here."
According to Netanyahu, "We are running into a brick wall of delusional, unrealistic Hamas demands.” Hamas, he said, “knows its demands are delusional and is not even trying to move close to an area of agreement. That’s the situation.”
“We are all hopeful, but I’m giving you the current assessment. We continue to act, continue to hope, but I can’t make a promise at this moment," he said.
The commenter agrees to the privacy policy of Ynet News and agrees not to submit comments that violate the terms of use, including incitement, libel and expressions that exceed the accepted norms of freedom of speech.