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Reports: Yeshiva student draft dodgers to face criminal charges

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JERUSALEM (JTA) — Haredi Orthodox yeshiva students will face criminal charges for dodging the draft under a proposed law, following the intervention of the prime minister, Israeli media has reported.

Under the proposed military draft law, the haredi men would be criminally charged for evading the draft, but the penalties would not go into effect until 2017, according to reports. In addition, draft orders for haredi men up to age 26 will not go into effect until up to a year after the law is implemented.

The Shaked Committee that is preparing the draft law was set to meet Wednesday to vote on the final proposal of the bill, which likely will be brought before the Knesset plenum in March.

Lawmakers from the Sephardic Orthodox Shas and haredi Orthodox United Torah Judaism parties have threatened to drop out of the committee.

The Tal Law, which allowed haredi men to defer army service indefinitely, was invalidated by the Supreme Court in February 2012 and expired in August that year. Haredi yeshiva students since then have had their drafts deferred.

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