Court refuses to block Ya'alon from deferring haredi draft

Ya’alon had ordered that deferral letters go out to the haredim in question on August 6, absent of any court order to the contrary.

July 31, 2013 14:06
1 minute read.
ULTRA-ORTHODOX men gather in the Romema neighborhood in the capital to protest serving in the army

Haredi anti-draft protest 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

The High Court of Justice refused on Wednesday to block Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon’s order that deferral letters go out to 608 haredim who have been drafted into the IDF.

The court gave no explanation for the ruling.

Several groups have petitioned the court to order the Defense Ministry to draft haredi men of military age immediately.

On Tuesday, however, Attorney- General Yehuda Weinstein notified the High Court that Ya’alon wished to postpone drafting the 608 haredim into the IDF until at least December. Ya’alon had ordered that deferral letters go out to the men in question on August 6, absent any court order to the contrary.

Nonetheless, the state said it had delayed the immediate dispatch of the deferral letters in order to give the court time to intervene should it choose to do so.

The next hearing for the case is set for August 20, so the court will still take up the issue of haredi men whose service has thus far been deferred despite the July 31, 2012, expiration of the so-called “Tal Law,” which had provided for deferrals.

The state has to file an update on the situation 10 days before that hearing.

The Movement for Quality Government in Israel, one of the groups that has petitioned the High Court to draft eligible haredi men, said it would be filing a request to the court on Thursday to hold the hearing on its petition before August 18, when the first batch of haredi men who have received conscription orders are slated for enlistment.

The MQG argues that the defense minister does not have the authority to defer the enlistment of these men, since there is no law on the statute books permitting him to do so.

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