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8 days ago

Israel to send draft notices to ultra-orthodox Jews in weeks

Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant attends a press conference on the day he meets with German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius in Berlin, Germany on September 28, 2023 — Reuters/File
Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant attends a press conference on the day he meets with German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius in Berlin, Germany on September 28, 2023 — Reuters/File

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Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said on Wednesday draft notices would be delivered in the next few weeks to some ultra-Orthodox Jews who had previously been exempt from serving in the Israeli military.

Israel's Supreme Court ruled last month that the defence ministry must end the longstanding exemption for ultra-Orthodox Jews from mandatory military service.

Speaking in the Israeli parliament, Gallant said the plan was to send out thousands of draft notices, though not all served with such notices would end up serving.

The fractious coalition government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu relies on two ultra-Orthodox parties who oppose the end of the exemption. However, the armed forces say they need more recruits to keep Israel safe and sustain the war against the Hamas militant group in Gaza.

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