The Shaked Committee on military draft reform approved Wednesday night a provision in the Equal Sharing of the Burden Bill that imposes criminal penalties on ultra-Orthodox Israeli men who refuse to enlist in the army at the age of 18.
The terms of the bill stipulate that yeshiva students eligible for enlistment at the time the interim period of the law goes into effect will be for all intents and purposes exempt from service until 2017, although the government will set increasing targets for haredi enlistment in the interim years.
In 2017, if the target for that year is not met, then the Law of the Security Services which legally mandates obligatory military service will be applied to haredi men from the age of 18, as it is to all other Jewish men, with the possibility that they will be imprisoned for up to two years if they refuse to serve.
The committee also determined that as long as the haredi enlistment targets are met, 1,800 outstanding yeshiva students will be exempt from the draft each year.
The haredi members of the committee, which is headed by MK Ayelet Shaked (HaBayit Hayehudi), boycotted the vote, while Shaked herself did not participate.