Senior members of the religious Zionist movement expressed disappointment in Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, Sunday evening, following a report in the Yediot Ahronot daily that Ya'alon has decided to exercise his authority and raise to 24 the number of active-duty months required of students in the hesder yeshiva program, which combines military service with religious studies. The current requirement is for 16 months and the Shaked Committee on Equal Burden of Service voted, last week to raise the total to 17.
The sources told Arutz Sheva that Ya'alon yielded to a media campaign against the schools, adding they did not expect him to give in as easily as he appeared to do. They expressed hope that Ya'alon will understand the giant contribution the hesder yeshivas make to the state and to Israeli society. They noted words of encouragement he gave the institutions just a few months ago.