The Israeli army plans to extend mandatory service through changes to an existing law, a local media outlet reported Wednesday.
“The Israeli army intends, after the current war in the Gaza Strip, to demand a law to extend compulsory service to three years, which will also apply to those who have already begun their service,” Israeli Army Radio said on X.
The potential law will include all male soldiers.
The radio said the draft law also includes “raising the exemption age for soldiers from reserve duty from 40 to 45 and for officers from 45 to 50 as well as increasing the period of service that reserve soldiers can be called up to each year.”
According to army radio, the change will allow for the reorganization of the ranks of the army on the home front and combat forces and will facilitate full compliance with operational tasks, easing the burden on reserve forces in various sectors.
It said the war in Gaza and the large number of fatalities have led to a decrease in the number of fighters in the army.
Israeli law requires citizens except for Arabs and Druze aged over 18 to undergo compulsory conscription for 24 months for females and 32 months for males.
According to official data, the number of Israeli army fatalities since the Gaza war began on Oct. 7, 2023 has reached 563, including 226 officers and soldiers killed since the start of a ground operation in the Gaza Strip on Oct. 27.
The Israeli army had called up 300,000 reserve soldiers when the war was declared on Gaza in an operation described as the largest in Israel's history, according to statements by Israeli army spokesman Daniel Hagari.