Defense chief raps plan for haredi to serve after age 23

Mofaz was appearing before the special committee on draft deferrals for yeshiva students. The committee — formed after an earlier one known as Tal made recommendations on a national compromise on service for haredim — is preparing legislation for second and third readings.

On the other hand, Mofaz expressed satisfaction with the haredi platoon, Nahal, and said he hopes that it would turn into a regiment by the end of the year. The unit is stationed in the Jordan Valley and Mofaz said it is replacing the need for reserve soldiers there.

The legislation also calls for opening other frameworks for haredi service. Mofaz said he also opposed this proposal, fearing that it would be "used as a means of evading military service."

After hearing Mofaz, committee chairman Yossi Katz of the Labor Party called for changes in the legislation to ensure that haredim make a contribution to the army.

Knesset Minister Meir Porush of United Torah Judaism asked Mofaz whether the IDF would be able to ensure mikvahot and eruvim — ritual baths and boundaries that permit carrying items on Shabbat — for haredim in the IDF.

He answered that "all of the needs of haredi soldiers would be met."