IDF Plans to Reduce Term of Enlistment
New non-combat soldiers soon may be looking forward to a discharge four months earlier if the IDF goes ahead with planned cuts. However, the original plan to cut service for combat soldiers has been put on hold, mainly due to enemy threats, Israel Defense reports.
The current term of service for draftees is three years, and approximately two years for Hesder yeshiva students. Young men in the network of “mechina” pre-army Torah academies serve the regular three-year term after completing their studies of nine to 18 months.
The idea of shortening army service is not new but was postponed following the Second Lebanon War in 2006.
Two factors encouraging the cut in service for non-combat soldiers is the need for budget cuts and the aim to increase efficiency in the military infrastructure.
The number of new recruits has declined in recent years for several reasons, two of which are an increasing number of draft dodgers in secular urban communities and a large number of hareidi religious, and some national religious youth, who opt to continue studying Torah in yeshivas instead of enlisting.
That may change if political leaders go through with plans to pass a new bill requiring a universal draft or national service for all Jews and for Arabs, who will be able to serve in civilian duty.