teenagers enlist in the IDF – this was the statistic presented Tuesday
morning to the education committee by Col. Tziki Sela, head of the
army's Department of Planning and Manpower Administration.
displays an ongoing trend showing that the amount of youths serving in
the Israeli army is decreasing. In 2002, 59% enlisted. The figures
include Arab and ultra-Orthodox youths, who are exempt from mandatory
estimated that there are approximately 7,000 draft dodgers every year.
that in the upcoming years the number of people serving in the army is
expected to decline even further.
mostly due to the extent of the exemptions authorized and the relatively
smaller age groups. However, Sela did say that "the IDF is aware of the
situation and this will not affect national security. The army has a
solution for the decrease in soldiers."
Sela, about 25% of youths who evade service by declaring themselves
ultra-Orthodox Torah scholars never attend Orthodox yeshivas.
"Some of the
yeshiva heads encourage them not to enlist and instead to sign up for
studies, due to budget issues," he said. The number of ultra-Orthodox
youths who shirk their service is expected to continue to increase.
girls are also evading service. "A girl who drives on
non-Kosher sandwich in her hand can come and request an exemption on
religious ground and by law, I have to accept her claim," said Sela.
positive note however, the overall number of girls enlisting has risen
and an increase is also apparent in the level of satisfaction amongst
boys who serve - a recent study found that 80% are pleased with their
service and 70.3% said they were motivated to be combat soldiers
however, is far from the only prevalent excuse used by those seeking to
evade military service.
noted an increase in exemptions given to men on medical grounds. There
has also been a rise in exemption given to those with criminal records
and those living abroad.