Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the haredi draft bill on Monday at a Likud faction meeting, which is to be voted on in its first reading later in the day. "We will pass the draft law in its first reading, it's a good law," Netanyahu said.The haredi draft bill stipulates annual enlistment targets which increase every year for ten years, and financial sanctions in the form of steadily increasing reductions to the budget for haredi yeshivas should enlistment targets not be met.Netanyahu referred to the two "burdens" he believes the law will address by raising haredi participation in the economy and in the military."Unemployment is at an all-time low, and the participation of the different sectors of the population which had previously been outside the labor force is a positive development," he stated, referring to the economic burden."The second burden that needs to be dealt with is taking care of the army's needs," he continued. "Therefore the Defense Minister did something of utmost importance in asking the army what it needs." "Today we will vote on what the army thinks it needs, and this will raise the level of haredi participation in the military service."Netanyahu called the law "just and balanced," and said he hopes it will pass with "great support," and as soon as possible."We must solve this [the haredi] problem and forge a path for the years ahead," he concluded.
Jeremy Sharon contributed to this report.