KnessetYonatan Sindel/Flash90

The Knesset approved the Draft Law in its first reading Monday evening, two weeks after the bill was defeated the last time it was raised.

51 MKs voted in favor of the bill, while 48 MKs voted against it.

The haredi parties reacted furiously after the bill passed. MK Uri Maklev of United Torah Judaism said, “You have turned Torah scholars into criminal citizens. The army is not a value but a necessity but Torah study is a value. Torah students carry no less of a burden than anyone else, and you are going to destroy this tradition."

"The truth is known, there is no need for recruitment, even today the army has thousands of soldiers who are not needed. The biggest absurdity is that those who decided whether the Torah scholars would be criminal offenders are the Arab MKs," Maklev added.

On the other hand, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid expressed satisfaction with the move. "We promised and delivered: equality in burden. There is no such thing as rights without obligations. We all have a responsibility for the fate of the country. This government and this party, Yesh Atid, continue to keep promises. We are making moves in areas which for years and years no one dared touch."