IDF to Grant Draft Exemptions for Nut Allergy


The death of an IDF soldier from an allergic reaction has led to a decision not to draft individuals who are allergic to nuts, Haaretz reported on Thursday.

The soldier, Shalev Hazan, was niftar on Dec. 27, 2015, during basic training, after a severe allergic reaction set in after mistakenly eating some granola that contained nuts.

A special committee was formed to review the army’s policy on recruits with potentially life-threatening allergies. Although the committee’s recommendations have not yet been submitted to Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot for final approval, a decision has already been made not to draft people who have life-threatening allergies to nuts, the newspaper said.

This would add to the existing list of allergies that are cause for exemption from military service, among them protein, sesame and several other basic foods.

Although such individuals would not be obligated in military service, they could still volunteer. In such cases, they would be assigned to units located within a certain distance of a hospital, and where the dining hall could be outfitted to suit the soldiers’ food sensitivities, or where arrangements have already been made for other soldiers there with food allergies.

Another indication of the army’s sensitivity to the issue was a decision last month to begin placing signs in IDF dining halls warning about various ingredients, like nuts, peanuts and grains, in the food being served.