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Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) protesters are sprayed with skunk water as they protest a draft bill in Jerusalem, November 28th, 2018.(Photo by: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Likud politician sees May elections if government cannot pass draft bill
"If the draft bill is not passed by January 15h, we will go to elections in May," MK Yoav Kish said.
Israel will head to elections next May if the current government cannot pass a bill to draft haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Jews into the army, according to MK Yoav Kish (Likud).

Kish reasoned the government has just over a month to pass the law to avoid early elections, he told Army Radio on Monday. "If the draft bill is not passed by January 15h, we will go to elections in May," he said.

In early December, the High Court of Justice set the January 15th date for the coalition, giving the government an extension until then to pass the bill. The government had previously requested a four-month extension to pass a bill designed to draft the haredi population into the army.

The extension granted by the High Court was the second granted by the body, previously granting a three-month extension last August. The government argued former defense minister Avigdor Liberman's November resignation was reason to grant a further extension.

The current government passed a first reading of the bill, which set annual targets for the enlistment of haredim in the IDF that increased yearly for a period of 10 years. Haredi yeshivot that did not keep up with the targets would be subject to financial penalties.

Despite the extensions, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been accused of "surrendering to the haredim and fleeing from the Supreme Court," by Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid.  

Haredi frequently protest against any compromise that would see their drafting into the army, blocking the entrance to Jerusalem two weeks ago during a protest that saw at least 30 people arrested.

Kisch has represented Likud in the Knesset since 2015.
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