MK Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) on Thursday denied reports that her party and Yesh Atid had agreed that a Knesset law on drafting hareidi yeshiva students would include criminal penalties for those who fail to serve. Speaking Thursday, Shaked said that the matter was still under review, and that no final decisions had yet been made.
Earlier, Maariv reported that Shaked herself, representing Jewish Home, had worked out a deal with Yesh Atid, Hatnu'a, and Labor on a committee dealing with the law to include in the law on drafting all Israelis a clause that would specify that hareidi Jewish draftees who failed to serve in the IDF would be charged with criminal offenses. The penalties would be decided upon later.
Speaking Wednesday, Shaked said that she was working very hard to convince the Yesh Atid representative, MK Ofer Shelah, to forgo the criminal penalty clause, with refusal to serve remaining a civil violation that would subject offenders to fines and loss of benefits.
Although the coalition agreement that both Jewish Home and Yesh Atid signed specifies that there be no criminal penalties for those refusing to serve, Shaked said that Shelah was invoking current law, applicable to all 18 year olds, which does specify criminal penalties for refusing to serve. Removing criminal charges off the agenda will require legislation, and Shaked said she was trying to convince Shelah and Yesh Atid to agree to this.