Knesset approves five-year extension to Tal Law

The Knesset approved a five-year extension to the Tal Law by 56 votes to nine on Wednesday afternoon. The law, which was established under former prime minister Ehud Barak's administration in 1999, allows yeshiva students over age 22 to take up to one year off from their studies to work without being drafted into the army. The Meretz faction called the approval an "embarrassing surrender by the government to the Haredi parties," Israel Radio reported.