Hundreds of arrest warrants sent to draft-dodging ultra-Orthodox

IDF not sure police will enforce orders after masses refuse to report to induction centers, Maariv reports

A rally last year against drafting ultra-Orthodox men into the army (Photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/ Flash90)
A rally last year against drafting ultra-Orthodox men into the army (Photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/ Flash90)

Hundreds of arrest warrants have been filed in recent days for ultra-Orthodox teenagers who failed to show up at military induction centers.

However, the army said it does not expect the police to enforce the warrants, Maariv reported Thursday morning.

The warrants are the first on-the-ground consequences of the expiration last year of a law that allowed ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students to claim a de facto exemption for military or national service.

Until a replacement law is passed, which won’t happen until a new government is formed, the Israel Defense Forces has begun sending draft notices to the ultra-Orthodox under a universal draft mandate.

Many Haredi teens have said they would go to jail rather than serve in the army, which is considered verboten among certain religious sects.

Though a number of ultra-Orthodox reported to induction centers, hundreds ignored the army’s orders and have been served arrest warrants, the paper reported.

According to Maariv, the IDF believes there’s a likelihood the police will not enforce the orders. However, on the Haredi street, rumors are rampant that mass arrests will come next month after the Passover holiday.

The issue of drafting the ultra-Orthodox came to a head last year when the High Court declared the Tal Law, which allowed students to defer service until they were exempt, as unconstitutional.

Drafting a new law is one of the main issues in talks to form a new government, with Haredi parties agreeing to only a small change from the old law and the Yesh Atid party, seen as a likely senior coalition partner, demanding that religious teenagers “share the burden” through either military or civil service.

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