Shaked with the director-general of her ministry
Shaked with the director-general of her ministry Justice Minister's spokesperson

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked responded on Monday evening to claims by Yesh Atid chairman MK Yair Lapid that the proposed new draft law constitutes a repetition of the law that his party approved in the previous government.

Speaking at an event in Jerusalem sponsored by the Justice Ministry, Shaked said, “In the previous Knesset, I headed the committee that drafted the draft law. I spent many hours trying to persuade MK (Ofer) Shelah and Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid to agree to my outline of economic sanctions if enlistment targets are not met, but he insisted on criminal sanctions."

"That was the essence of the dispute. I believed with all my heart that economic sanctions would not turn away the haredim and encourage recruitment, whereas forcing them to enlist would turn them away and reduce the number of recruits," she added.

"I am happy that today Yair Lapid understood that he was wrong and that it would be more appropriate to adopt the outline of the Defense Ministry that proposes economic sanctions, but why mislead the public? Just say ‘I changed my mind’ and that’s it.”

Lapid said earlier on Monday the current draft law is more significant than in the past, because the proposed outline was signed off by the IDF and the Chief of Staff.

The Yesh Atid leader made clear that he and his party will support the bill only if it remains in its present form.

"The main condition is that not a single word will change. I have no expectations from the prime minister. Surrendering is his art. But it is inconceivable that the defense minister will agree to change even a signal word from the outline. The defense minister, the man behind [this bill], promised the public that he would give full backing to the IDF and the Defense Ministry's plans. There can be no surrender on this subject," he said.

Meanwhile, it remains to be seen whether the haredi parties will support the proposed draft law. MK Yaakov Margi (Shas) said on Monday that "the draft law is the least of the bad" and noted that "the Supreme Court will not bring down a law drafted by the IDF."

He also promised to work to bring the haredi leadership to a consensus.

MKs from the Ashkenazic-haredi United Torah Judaism (UTJ) party are divided on whether or not they should support the law. Last week, UTJ's Council of Torah Scholars ordered ministers and MKs to resign from the coalition if the draft law is promoted in in current form.

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