Israeli supreme court says ultra-Orthodox must serve in military

In a move that could undermine the stability of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s government, the Supreme Court in Israel on Tuesday agreed to end draft exemptions for ultra-Orthodox Jewish men. Making up around 13 percent of the country’s population, it is estimated that nearly 70,000 future soldiers would be eligible. But with two ultra-Orthodox parties in the ruling coalition, the government is divided over the issue.

Israel's top court ruled unanimously on Tuesday that the state must draft ultra-Orthodox Jewish men into military service, potentially destabilising Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's ruling coalition.

The High Court of Justice's decision on the politically charged issue comes as calls grow for ultra-Orthodox men, historically exempt from mandatory service, to enlist as Israel wages war on Hamas in Gaza and prepares for potential fighting in Lebanon.

"The executive branch has no authority to order not to enforce the Security Service Law for yeshiva students in the absence of an appropriate legislative framework", the court said.

The justices ruled that without a law granting exemptions to students at Jewish seminaries, "the state must act to enforce the law".

They also ordered the state to stop funding yeshivas whose students evade military service.


Read more on FRANCE 24 English

Read also:
Netanyahu says ‘intense phase’ of Rafah fighting ending, but Gaza war will continue
'An Israeli-style Wagner Group': The ultra-Orthodox military unit in Washington’s crosshairs
Ultra-Orthodox Jews break with tradition to enlist in Israeli military