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Israel’s Heavy Artillery: Overweight Draftees

Almost 20 percent of draftees are overweight when they are inducted into the Israeli Army. This statistic, plus others which point to the fact that Israeli youngsters are not as fit as they should be, prompted Knesseter Uzi Feinerman of the Labor Alignment to submit a motion on the subject for the Knesset agenda yesterday. The motion was referred to committee.

Presenting his mention, Feinerman claimed that according to published statistics and a recent research project by Dr. Hillel Raskin of the Hebrew University, most youths in Israel about to enter the Army service were not physically fit. The situation was getting worse from year to year, he noted. A spot check of military reservists aged 22 to 26 also showed they were not altogether physically fit.

Feinerman suggested the number of school hours devoted to physical education classes be increased and children be made more aware of the value of sport. In his reply to the motion. Deputy Education Minister Zevulun Hammer claimed that according to a Ministry study Israeli youngsters were just as fit if not fitter than their counterparts in other countries. He said efforts have been made, nevertheless, to increase physical education hours.

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