IDF special forces soldiers boarding a Blackhawk helicopter (IDF Spokesperson)
IDF special forces soldiers boarding a Blackhawk helicopter (IDF Spokesperson)

MK Orna Barbivay, Chair of the Subcommittee for Personnel in the IDF has lashed out at Defense Minister Benny Gantz for dragging his feet on implementing the decision failure to implement a 2016 Knesset decision to reduce the length of male soldiers’ service from 32 months to 30 months.

“We were clearly told that the army does not know how to operate with a 30-month long service for male soldiers,” Barbivay said during Tuesday’s Knesset session.

“I was surprised that the defense minister has delayed his decision, despite the clear position of the IDF, led by the IDF chief. I understand that there are political pressures on the minister [Gantz] which, it seems, are seeping into and influencing his consideration of the matter,” said Barbivay.

“This also seems to be the reason for delaying the response to the High Court of Justice regarding the law for drafting [of Haredim into the IDF]. I call on the minister to act and formulate a serious and concrete position regarding the length of service issue,” she said.

MK Yair Golan, a former IDF deputy chief-of-staff, also criticized Gantz by saying that the IDF is investing too much in human resources and training and that the length of training could be shortened so that soldiers could be utilized for missions sooner in their service, and be released after 30 months instead of 32 months.

Golan also said that even if the IDF faced many challenges in 2020, now was still a period of relative calm compared to times of war or major terror waves and that it could afford to reduce the length of service while managing the current challenges.

“All this must be taken into consideration when a professional discussion is held, without political influences, to create a clear vision for human resources in the IDF,” Golan said.