The Israel Defense Forces have decided to freeze plans for an additional plans for an additional hareidi battalion in light of declining enlistment, according to a Friday report by the Yediot Ahronot daily. March enlistment was 140, down 30 percent from the previous enlistment. Last August a record 226 were inducted.
The IDF attributed the decline to the furor in the hareidi community over the new conscription law and abuse suffered by hareidim in uniform. A rabbi associated with the Nahal Hareidi's non-profit organization said increased active-duty requirements were a practical consideration because they were delaying the entry of married yeshiva students into the labor market.