In a response to a High Court of Justice petition ahead of a hearing on Thursday, the Defense Ministry said that it will start drafting haredi men reaching the age of military service only in the summer and “in a gradual manner” over a period of two years.

In addition, the state said in its response that yeshiva students aged 20 and above, who until now have received military service deferrals in accordance with the “Tal Law” of 2002, should not be drafted until the Knesset rules on the issue.

Draft reform campaigners reacted angrily to the publication of the response, accusing the ministry and the government of breaking the law by not drafting haredi yeshiva students, following the expiration of the Tal Law in August that allowed full-time yeshiva students to indefinitely defer their military service.

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