Netanyahu invites coalition party chairs to consult, ahead of Haredi draft vote

Sam Sokol is the Times of Israel's political correspondent. He was previously a reporter for the Jerusalem Post, Jewish Telegraphic Agency and Haaretz. He is the author of "Putin’s Hybrid War and the Jews"

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu invites the heads of the coalition parties to the Prime Minister’s Office for consultations on the eve of a government vote on his proposed Haredi enlistment outline, state broadcaster Kan reports.

Netanyahu is expected to present his plan for drafting the ultra-Orthodox for approval during tomorrow’s cabinet meeting.

He has already amended the plan, which initially contained a clause raising the military exemption age for yeshiva students to 35, which had generated widespread pushback among both opposition and coalition lawmakers.

The revised plan calls for setting annual recruitment targets in pursuit of a “significant and gradual increase” in enlistment by yeshiva students and graduates of ultra-Orthodox educational institutions and would impose financial penalties on yeshivas that fail to meet these quotas.

National Unity party chairman and war cabinet minister Benny Gantz has come out against the proposal, stating that, while his party wants to come to an agreement on enlistment, it needed to see “a solution for recruitment, not an exemption from recruitment.”

“I cannot be part of a government that passes such a law at all, and especially during wartime,” Gantz said earlier today, reiterating his earlier threat to bolt the coalition.

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