Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Monday in the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that the government intends to approve the extension of the Tal Law for another five years.
Netanyahu said the decision will be brought for ministerial approval on Sunday.The Tal Law was originally instituted in 2000, designed to increase the numbers of ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students serving in the army, and ultimately joining the work force, by encouraging them to participate in some minimal form of national service after the age of 22.
The law is widely seen to have failed, however, since very few ultra-Orthodox men have taken advantage of the terms of the Tal Law. According to IDF statistics, 2,000 haredi soldiers were serving in the army in 2011.
MK Yohanan Plesner (Kadima) who is chairman of the Knesset working group for the implementation of the Tal Law heavily criticized the decision, calling it a “heavy blow” against those pursuing the goal of all sectors of society equally bearing the burden of national service.