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(May 02, 2008) On April 2, 2008, the Knesset (Israel's Parliament) passed a law that defines the structure of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reserve force and its capability and objectives. The law provides the framework for a call for reserve service and the rights and duties of reserve soldiers. The law declares that the reserves are an inseparable part of IDF and constitute a central pillar on which IDF relies for purposes of State security. According to the law, a soldier may be called to reserve service for specific objectives, including training for a state of emergency, organization of manpower and discipline, operational tasks, and, in the absence of an alternative, for service in jobs and professions determined by a decree. The law further regulates the duration of service in the reserves. Accordingly, in a period of three consecutive years, officers may serve up to 84 days; non-officers who serve in supervisory roles, up to 70 days; and others, up to 54 days. These periods may be extended in a period of emergency or in other special situations, as determined by a government decision. The law further authorizes the Minister of Defense, in consultation with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, to determine a list of countries into which the entry of reserve soldiers is prohibited, limited, or conditional.

According to the explanatory notes of the bill, the law constitutes a major change in the constitution of the reserve force and reserve service. It reflects the situation in which only part of formerly drafted soldiers serve in the reserves, while guaranteeing them adequate pay and limiting the tasks for which they can be called up for service to situations that are absolutely necessary. (Reserve Service Law and Bill, 5768-2008, the Knesset Website.)

Author: Ruth Levush More by this author
Topic: Armed forces and national security More on this topic
Jurisdiction: Israel More about this jurisdiction

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Last updated: 05/02/2008