Knesset plenum
Knesset plenumOlivier Fitoussi/Flash90

The Draft Law failed in its first reading Monday night after Meretz MK Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi broke coalition discipline and voted against the bill.

Rinawi told MK Meirav Ben-Ari (Yesh Atid): "I voted against because of the Citizenship Law." MK Mazen Ghanaim of Ra'am did not enter the plenum either and the bill was defeated in a vote of 54-54.

Opposition leader Netanyahu also came to vote against the bill after being absent from the plenum throughout the day.

Before the vote, Shas chairman Aryeh Deri approached Ra'am chairman Mansour Abbas and told him, "If you vote for the Draft Law, you will create for yourself the greatest enemy of the Arab sector. I will not rest or be quiet until all the Arabs are recruited."

Abbas, who eventually voted for the law, told Deri: "But this is a good law for the haredim." Deri replied: "Shame on you, how can you tell us what is good and what is not?"

Defense Minister Benny Gantz, who presented the law in the Knesset plenum, said before the vote: "Recognizing the value of Torah study and understanding that not all yeshiva students will serve tomorrow morning, and perhaps not at all, the purpose of the proposal is to act as much as possible to promote equality in service, by increasing the number of haredi IDF servicemen."

"My haredi friends - I see you as full partners in the process of preserving the world of Torah and the strength and cohesion of Israel. The current situation in which half of 18-year-olds do not enlist harms basic Israeli resilience, so everything is being done to reach agreements," Gantz said.

Gantz said that in order to achieve the recruitment goals, the IDF is working to expand service routes tailored to the haredi public, "which will ensure that those who haredim who enlist will maintain their identity. There are also mechanisms aimed at ensuring compliance with targets so that we maintain our security needs. My haredi friends who are here in the plenum - I am sure we will not get to use them."

Gantz added: "The bill does not stand on its own. We are in the process of establishing a government team that will promote a new and comprehensive service outline for the State of Israel. We see that an absolute majority must serve, but not everyone must or can serve in the IDF. As part of the outline, the IDF will be given priority in the search process, and those who serve more and in more combat -oriented positions will be rewarded more."