Netanyahu's office said Friday afternoon that the prime minister would ask the government to vote on a plan to advance military and civilian service in the ultra-Orthodox sector as early as Sunday.
The decision was made Friday morning at the end of a meeting between Netanyahu, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz and Major-General Avi Zamir, head of the IDF Personnel Directorate. According to a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office, Netanyahu decided to adopts the recommendations the army chief submitted to him during their meeting Wednesday.
The statement added that the decision would make it possible to double the number of recruits from the haredi sector in the next five years. The PM's Office expects the number of recruits in 2015 to total 4,800 – 2,400 in the army and 2,400 in national service. According to the plan, the IDF will also have additional combat systems take in haredi soldiers.
In order to meet the goal, the government will allot NIS 130 million ($37 million) a year for new and unique recruitment systems for the haredi sector, as well as NIS 70 million ($20 million) a year for developing new systems in the civilian service.
A haredi man without children will be allowed to join regular civilian service as an alternative for military service from the age of 26.
The PM's Office, the Finance Ministry, the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry, the Defense Ministry and the Science Ministry will come up with a plan to help haredim serving in the army and in civilian service integrate into the labor market upon the completion of their military service.
The prime minister noted that this was an important decision which would increase the enlistment of young haredi men to the army and national service, encourage them to integrate into the labor market and help divide the burden among the Israeli society.
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