The Israel Defense Force this month inducted its largest number of recruits ever, according to the commander in charge of the IDF’s manpower branch, Maj. Gen. Yoram Yair.
The actual number of new recruits is not published for security reasons. But according to Yair, 33 percent of the new recruits will join combat units, mostly at their own request.
Yair also said the recruits’ educational level was the highest on record, with an unprecedented 86 percent being high school graduates.
This contrasts sharply with a decade ago, when Rafael Eitan, then the IDF chief of staff, established supplemental schooling for recruits, many of whom were thought to have insufficient education for a modern army.
Speaking to military correspondents this week, Yair said that of those recruits volunteering for combat units, a high percentage wanted to join the undercover units that deal with Palestinian militants in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
“We will continue to maintain those two units, despite the recent agreements with the Palestinians,” Yair said.
He added that Israel’s peace initiatives will result in lessening the burden on reservists.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.