IDF Christian enlistment triples in past year

Christian enlistment in the Israel Defense Forces has nearly tripled in the past year, growing from 35 to 100, with another 500 Christians doing national service, according to the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met on Aug. 5 with Gabriel Nadaf, a Greek Orthodox priest from Nazareth and spiritual leader of a forum for the enlistment of Christian youth in the IDF; Naji Abid, leader of the Orthodox council in Yafia; and Lt. (Ret.) Shadi Khaloul, head of the forum.

According to the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, approximately 158,000 Christians live in Israel, 80 percent of them Israeli Arabs. Nadaf has come under fire from some Israeli Arab leaders because of his support for young Christians enlisting in the IDF. — jns