Report Shows Ethiopian Soldiers Still Struggling

One out of every four IDF soldiers of Ethiopian background drops out of their service before it is completed, an army report said.

Yaakov Levi,

Ethiopian Jews in Jerusalem (file)
Ethiopian Jews in Jerusalem (file)
Flash 90

One out of every six IDF soldiers drop out of their service before it is completed – not by going AWOL, but by getting themselves discharged for a variety of physical, and more commonly psychological, ailments.

Among soldiers of Ethiopian background, that number is one in four.

According to IDF statistics, 16.5% of male soldiers and 7.5% of female soldiers left army service before their full term was complete. Among soldiers of Ethiopian background, 22.8% of male soldiers and 10% of female soldiers dropped out. That represents a 2% fall in the dropout rate for male soldiers, but an increase of 1.5% for female soldiers since 2012.

In effect, more Ethiopian background youths are serving in the army, but more are dropping out, officials said.

A 2011 report released by the IDF’s Manpower branch reveals that the military continues to face difficulties in integrating the Ethiopian-Israeli community. More than 50% of soldiers from Ethiopia have a military profile lower than 47, compared to 23% in the general population.

In addition, 53% of Ethiopian soldiers were jailed at some point during their IDF service, compared to 25.5% among other soldiers. The gap is particularly wide among female soldiers, the report noted.