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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 23 July 2024

Israeli Supreme Court rules that the military must begin drafting ultra-Orthodox men

Netanyahu said he will only accept a partial cease-fire deal that would not end the eight-month-long war, casting doubt on the viability of a United States-backed truce proposal

AP Published 25.06.24, 04:05 PM
Representational image.

Representational image. File picture.

Israel's Supreme Court ruled unanimously Tuesday that the military must begin drafting ultra-Orthodox men for military service — a decision that could lead to the collapse of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's governing coalition as Israel wages war in Gaza.

Most Jewish men and women in Israel are required to serve mandatory military service at the age of 18. But the politically powerful ultra-Orthodox traditionally received exemptions if they were studying full-time in religious seminaries. These exemptions infuriated the wider general public, especially as hundreds of soldiers were killed in the war with Hamas.

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Israel and Hamas appear to be moving further apart over how the cease-fire deal plays out. Netanyahu said he will only accept a partial cease-fire deal that would not end the eight-month-long war, casting doubt on the viability of a United States-backed truce proposal. Israeli leaders are also increasingly signaling that a war with the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah could be next.

Israel launched the war after Hamas' October 7 attack, in which militants stormed into southern Israel, killed some 1,200 people — mostly civilians — and abducted about 250.

Since then, Israeli ground offensives and bombardments have killed more than 37,600 people in Gaza, according to the territory's Health Ministry, which does not distinguish between combatants and civilians in its count.

International criticism is growing over Israel's campaign as Palestinians face widespread hunger. The war has largely cut off the flow of food, medicine and basic goods to Gaza, which is now totally dependent on aid.

The top United Nations court has concluded there is a “plausible risk of genocide” in Gaza — a charge Israel strongly denies.

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