Gov't formally okays shortening of IDF service

The government okayed Sunday the recommendations of the Ben Bassat Commission to shorten mandatory service in the IDF. At the same time, the government approved the creation of a second committee that would examine the continuation of special services such as the Nahal Brigade and the hesder yeshiva program. This second committee will also look into the viability of alternative programs of national service, such as the "Shaham" program that enables service with the Israel Police instead of with the IDF or Border Police. Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said that he does not support the disbanding of the hesder yeshivas, which enable religious youth to study and participate in IDF service.