Draft-dodger after arriving at boyfriend's house by taxi on Shabbat
Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Office
Chief of personnel Zamir
Photo: Dudu Azulay
Soldiers at Mt. of Olives
Photo: AFP

Draft-dodging on the rise, IDF says

Chief of personnel mainly concerned with women who evade service by citing 'religious lifestyle'

The IDF's chief of personnel said Sunday that the number of draft-dodgers has been steadily rising over the past two decades, mainly among those asking to be released from army service due to religious reasons.


Brigadier-General Avi Zamir's report was especially concerned with draft-dodging among women. In 1991 32.8% of able females did not enlist, the report said, while in 2008 the percentage recorded rose to 44%. Regarding men, the number increased from 18.2% in 1991, to 25.8% last year.


The IDF claims many youths evade the draft using religious reasons. In 1991 21.3% of women did not enlist by citing a religious lifestyle, and in 2008 the number grew to 34.6%. In his report, Zamir said the army believes at least 8% are lying.


The IDF has been employing a number of methods in order to battle the phenomenon, including private investigators who track the girls' behavior on the weekend. More than 500 have recanted their religious declarations due to IDF investigations.


Religion is also cited by 10.9% of men who don't enlist, and the IDF claims that if the trend continues, the number will reach 11.8% by 2012.


The army is also battling the phenomenon of early discharge. Ynet has recently reported that thanks to a reform in the IDF's mental health services, the number of soldiers receiving early discharge due to psychological reasons has dropped considerably and just 13.8% terminated their service before its official end date in 2008, a decrease from 17% in earlier years.


Zamir also buried hopes for the shortening of regular army service, citing "the security situation and the reserves law, which decreased the reserve soldiers' combat activity."


The IDF has also launched a number of appeals to discharged career service soldiers in an effort to return them to the army. In 2008 1,600 such soldiers returned to active service, and hundreds of others are currently being considered.


פרסום ראשון: 03.01.09, 17:36
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