Israel Hayom has learned that 30 percent of haredim (ultra-Orthodox men) who received their draft notices since August, when the Tal Law that had previously provided them with exemptions expired, have presented themselves at IDF recruitment centers to receive draft dates for next summer.
Following the expiration of the law, many haredim vowed they would not answer their draft notices, regardless of their legal obligation to be drafted.
"The rate of people being called up after receiving their draft notice and starting the process of being absorbed in the army is even greater than 30%," an army source told Israel Hayom on Sunday night. "The cooperation level up to now has been very high."
The source stressed, however, that the actual draft of the young men is slated for the summer of 2013, and one can't predict now how many will show up to begin their service and how the recruitment will go.
Military officials noted that before the draft stage actually arrives, there may be political processes that will affect the haredi draft as well.
Currently, the IDF Personnel Directorate is working on sending out about 15,000 initial draft calls to haredim born in 1994-1995. The IDF is also trying to coordinate the recruitment process for draftees such that, for example, they will be interviewed by men, not women.
Before the Tal Law expired in August, haredim would wait at IDF recruitment centers to receive exemptions. The IDF feared that a low percentage of haredim would even show up at the centers once the Tal Law ended.
The IDF is currently working to create service frameworks to meet special haredi needs, including separate service tracks for men. Before the expiration of the Tal Law, there were a small number of haredim serving in the army, around 2,000 young men, in special tracks such as the Shahar air force unit and the Haredi Nahal battalion.
Meanwhile, throughout Operation Pillar of Defense in the Gaza Strip, the IDF began the Nov. 2012 recruitment cycle. According to IDF data, 73.3% of draftees eligible for service in ground units requested combat positions. The number is similar to the last IDF draft cycle.