Speaking at the weekly meeting of the coalition parties Sunday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that the new Draft Law bill would be brought for a preliminary vote in the Knesset next week, despite the lack of agreement among coalition members over the final version of the bill.
The new recommendations include set quotas for the number of yeshivah students joining the army, and economic sanctions against yeshivos if these targets are not set. Furthermore, the proposed new law would include a clause stating that if recruitment rate of at least 85 percent of the annual targets is not met for three consecutive years, the law exempting the yeshivah students will expire after 12 months.
Two weeks ago, the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah of Agudas Yisrael instructed the party’s MKs that unless satisfactory revisions to the Defense Ministry’s recommendations for a new law are made, the party should vote against the law, and if it is passed without their support, they should immediately withdraw from the coalition.
Leaders of the chareidi parties have objected to the proposal, and said they would vote against the bill next week.
Interior Minister Rabbi Aryeh Deri (Shas), Deputy Health Minister Rabbi Yaakov Litzman and MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni informed the prime minister of their plans to vote against the bill.
Meanwhile, to counterbalance opposition from the chareidi parties, the coalition is lobbying members of the Yesh Atid party – from the opposition – to vote in favor of the bill.
During Sunday’s meeting, Netanyahu told coalition faction leaders that the final version of the bill would be decided upon only after next week’s preliminary vote on the law.
“After the preliminary vote, there will be discussions between all coalition members in order to reach a comprehensive agreement ahead of the second and third votes,” he said.