March 7, 2013 - 1:00am

Hundreds of arrest warrants had been issued in Israel in the past few days against ultra-Orthodox youths dodging military service, the Ma'ariv daily reported Thursday.

As hundreds of ultra-Orthodox youths failed to report to the induction centers as required, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) turned to the police to issue arrest warrants.

It seems that the Israeli police would not act to enforce the warrants until a political solution is achieved within the new government. However, there are already rumors in the ultra- Orthodox community of a planned mass arrest after the holiday of Passover, which will end next month.

Last year, the controversial Tal Law, which exempts ultra- Orthodox yeshiva students from serving in the army, was found unconstitutional by the Israel Supreme Court and was expired. Israeli lawmakers have yet to come up with a new law replacing the previous one to regulate the service of ultra-Orthodox in the army.

This is the first time that such warrants are sent following the expiration of the Tal Law. In the past year, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that until there is a replacement, the Haredi parties are to receive draft notices according to the universal draft mandate of men and women reaching the age of 18.

The issue of the ultra-Orthodox' conscription is part of a campaign led by centrist Yesh Atid Party leader Yair Lapid and the nationalistic HaBayit HaYehudi party leader Naftali Bennet calling for an equal burden of duties in the Israeli society and is vehemently opposed by the leaders of the Haredi parties.


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