KnessetNoam Moskowitz/Knesset spokesperson

The Knesset on Monday evening approved the first reading of the bill raising the exemption age from reservist duty.

51 Knesset members voted in favor of the proposal, compared to 47 who voted against it, and it will be forwarded to the Knesset House Committee, which will determine which committee will discuss the proposal next, ahead of its second and third readings.

The interim order establishes a one-year increase in the age at which an exemption from security service duty will be granted, so that for an army veteran who is not an officer, the exemption from reservist duty will be granted at age 41, and for an officer, an exemption from reservist duty will be granted at age 46. In addition, the interim order states that the age of exemption for military veterans serving in professions or in certain positions established by decree of the Minister of Defense will be raised to the age of 50.

The interim order also stipulates that if a military veteran reached the age of 40, 45 or 49 before the end of 2023, an exemption from reservist duty will be granted to him at the end of December 2024.

Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi presented the proposal on behalf of the Defense Minister and said, "Given the emergency mobilization and the significant contribution of the reservists to the fighting efforts, the release of thousands of reservists in combat and combat supporting positions could significantly harm the operational competence and combat capability of the IDF. Therefore, the Knesset approved as a temporary measure an amendment to the law that allows the age at which exemption will be granted to be increased by one year. In light of the complex fighting and in order to avoid damage to the IDF's operational competence and fighting capacity during the year 2024, it is proposed to extend the order by three additional months."