Hours after the “Tal Law” expired, a government watchdog petitioned the High Court of Justice on Wednesday demanding that the Defense Ministry and Knesset overturn a temporary order that adds six months to men’s obligatory army service.
The Movement for Quality Government (MQG) said that with the Tal Law gone, and the 54,000 yeshiva students who used the law to defer national service for religious studies now obligated to perform military service, the temporary order was no longer necessary to boost IDF manpower.
Mandatory military service has been part of Israeli life since 1949, when the Knesset approved the Defense Service Law (amended in 1986) empowering the IDF to call up all citizens. Under the law, men of military age are required to serve 30 months and women 24 months. However, in 1995, the Knesset passed a temporary order that added six months to men’s mandatory service, and has periodically extended its validity such that the period of regular army service is 36 months for men aged 18 to 26.