Early IDF draft orders sent to more recruits than agreed upon, sparking ‘crisis of faith’

Gavriel Fiske is a reporter at The Times of Israel

Israeli youth take part in pre-army preparatory program at the beach in Nahariya, September 8, 2022 (Michael Giladi/Flash90)
Israeli youth take part in pre-army preparatory program at the beach in Nahariya, September 8, 2022 (Michael Giladi/Flash90)

Students in pre-army programs who were not designated for early conscription have unexpectedly received call-up notices, sparking anger.

Hundreds of students enrolled in pre-army, volunteer service programs and yeshivas began receiving their early military draft orders yesterday afternoon, after the IDF had previously said it would send out some 1,300 notices. These post-high school students would have otherwise finished their programs in June and then enlisted sometime after.

However, notices were sent out to more students than had been agreed upon, and to students who weren’t on agreed-upon lists, officials and students say. It is unclear how many extra notices have been sent in total.

At some pre-army academies, more than double the agreed-upon number of students received recruitment notices, an academy official says, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The agreement regarding the early recruitment was changed “without consulting us,” resulting in a “crisis of faith” between staff and students, and between the pre-army academy administration and the Defense Ministry, the official adds.

The official adds that he has confirmed that Religious Zionist yeshivas received “the exact” number of notices that were agreed upon.

It’s “a very clear division” between how the IDF and Defense Ministry are treating the yeshivas as opposed to the pre-army academies and volunteer year programs, the official stresses.

The IDF and Defense Ministry announced previously that about 850 trainees will be drafted from the pre-army and community service year programs, and about 150 more from Religious Zionist yeshivas, with an emphasis on those already slated to enlist this year. The number of yeshiva students to be drafted early was raised to 450 after protests.

In a statement, the IDF says “all of the recruits to be drafted were from a list of names that was sent in advance to the organizations. There was no change in the number of planned inductions, which took into account the recommendations of the organizations.”

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