Ahead of Plesner Committee Recommendations

Netanyahu: New National Service Law Will Apply to All - Including Arabs, Haredim

The committee tasked with drafting a replacement to the Tal Law are set to recommend that the requirement that members of Israeli minorities carry out national service be implemented gradually.

Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday that he would only support a law over IDF enlistment and national service if it applies to every Israeli citizen, including Israel's Arab population and the ultra-Orthodox. 

""I will not bring a law to a vote which does not also require equal enlistment for the Ultra-Orthodox and Arabs," Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu was responding to the news on Thursday that the Plesner Committee, tasked with drafting a replacement for the Tal Law that exempts yeshiva students from mandatory military service,  will recommend that every Israeli citizen who is not mandated to carry out military service should carry out civil service, but that this should be only implemented gradually.

The recommendation is expected to gradually increase the number of people from the minority sectors carrying out national service to 6,000 by the year 2016. At the same time, the committee will recommend that the government mandate a committee to thoroughly examine the issues involved in applying the principle of "service for all" in the long-term.

Earlier, coalition members Yisrael Beitenu and HaBayit HaYehudi announced that they were leaving the Plesner Committee, as it was "favoring the Israeli-Arab public."

Meanwhile, a source close to Netanyahu said that the prime minster will meet on Friday with the head of the Kadima faction, Minister Shaul Mofaz, in order to see, "How to get out of the mess that the Plesner Committee has got us into."

The Tal Law, which the High Court of Justice declared unconstitutional in February, is to expire in August.

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Netanyahu with Avigdor Lieberman in the Knesset.
Tam Shaplan