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One-third of Israeli youths do not enlist in army citing ‘mental’ issues

January 20, 2020 at 10:41 am

Israeli soldiers in the southern Israeli city of Sderot on 13 November 2019 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]

The Israeli army has expressed its concerns that one-third of eligible Israeli youths have not enlisted so far this year for reasons related to “mental health”, Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Sunday.

The data published by the Israeli newspaper showed that 32.9 per cent of young men will receive an exemption from compulsory national service in the Israel Defence Forces. The figure for young women stands at 44.3 per cent. Furthermore, an average of 15 per cent of young Israelis drop out during their military service. According to the Jerusalem Post, nearly half of male soldiers — 47.9 per cent — do not complete their military service.

The manpower directorate in the Israeli defence ministry called for extra checks on mental illness exemptions. It suggested that many of the documents provided in such cases are false.

Quds Press has reported that a quarter of all Israeli youths avoided recruitment in 2007, and the proportion grew to 26.9 per cent in 2015, 30 per cent in 2019 and now stands at one third.

All 18 year olds in Israel must serve in the military. Men serve for 32 months while women serve for just 24 months.

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