How do soldiers from outside Israel join the army? What do we know about the “lone soldiers”? How do soldiers from outside Israel join the army? What do we know about the “lone soldiers”?

How do soldiers from outside Israel join the army? What do we know about the “lone soldiers”?

How do soldiers from outside Israel join the army?  What do we know about the “lone soldiers”?

The joining of thousands of foreigners into the Israeli army in the war on Gaza sparked widespread controversy in Western countries. The Israeli Defense Law sets the conditions and standards for service in the army.

According to the Israeli Defense Law, military service is mandatory for all Israelis, even those with dual citizenship who are permanently abroad, as well as for so-called “lone soldiers” who have no families.

With the start of the war on the Gaza Strip on October 7, the Israeli army summoned hundreds of thousands of reserve soldiers, including those permanently residing abroad.


Conscription is obligatory for everyone

On November 30, the Israeli Embassy in the British capital, London, said on its website: “Under the law of the Israeli Security Service, all Israeli citizens in Israel and abroad must conscript into the army, even if they hold dual citizenship and reside permanently abroad.” .

She added: “Israelis living abroad need to submit an application to determine their military status when they reach the age of 16 years and 4 months, and before the age of 19.”

The embassy asked Israelis wishing to enlist to contact the Israeli army representative in Europe via email.

Military service is compulsory for men and women in Israel at the age of 18, after which soldiers are classified into reserve units.

Foreigners participating in the war on Gaza

In recent days, the participation of foreign citizens with Israeli citizenship in the war on the Gaza Strip has sparked reactions in France and South Africa.

French MP Thomas Portet said in a tweet on the .

He added: "In the event that war crimes are committed, I request that they (the French) be brought before French justice, and I will also refer the matter to the Public Prosecutor via Article 40."

The MP continued: “With regard to the war crimes committed by the Israeli army in both Gaza and the West Bank, it is unacceptable for French citizens to participate in them.”

As for South Africa, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Monday that it was “deeply concerned” by reports that some Israeli soldiers who are also South African citizens have joined the Israeli army to fight in Gaza, or are considering doing so.

The ministry continued: "Such a measure would likely contribute to violating international law and committing more international crimes, making them vulnerable to prosecution in the country."

The Foreign Ministry explained that South African citizens need prior government approval to fight legally in Israel.

She added that naturalized Israeli citizens are at risk of being stripped of their South African citizenship, due to their involvement in a war that “the country does not support or agree with.”

What about "lone soldiers"?

The Hebrew newspaper Haaretz said on Wednesday: “According to Israeli army data, in 2021, 2,507 new immigrants joined the Israeli army as lone soldiers, or soldiers who do not live with their families, including 59 from South Africa.”

She added: "This does not include all Israeli soldiers who hold dual citizenship from South Africa," without specifying them.

There is no obligation in Israeli law to renounce Israeli citizenship when obtaining another nationality, as citizens are allowed to obtain dual nationality, and even multiple nationalities.

Israel had announced the call-up of 360,000 reserve soldiers at the beginning of the war, without clarifying how many of them were coming from abroad.

The so-called "lone soldiers" who volunteer to join the Israeli army, without having family in Israel, join the army.

The Lone Soldiers Center said on its website: “A lone soldier is an army soldier who does not have family in Israel to support him: a new immigrant, a volunteer from abroad, an orphan, or a member of a broken home.”

How many lone soldiers?

The center added that "more than 7,000 lone soldiers are currently serving in the Israeli army, about 45% of whom are new immigrants, coming from Jewish communities around the world, and 50% of Israelis who are orphans, or who come from low social and economic backgrounds."

The center noted, "There are some who come from extremist religious neighborhoods, and whose families and communities avoid them because they decided to go to the army."

He continued: "Most lone soldiers are placed in combat units, have a high motivation to serve in the Israeli army, and guard Israel's borders on land, air and sea."

"For lone soldiers, money becomes a major issue," he noted.

“A lone soldier’s monthly salary is twice what the average soldier in his unit earns, but it is still often insufficient to pay bills, do laundry, pay for furniture and household appliances, and buy food for the Sabbath (the Jewish religious holiday),” he said.

He added: “The army subsidizes rent up to 1,048 shekels per month ($283), but it is not enough to establish a house in Israel.”

Abu Ubaida: We have targeted 720 Israeli military vehicles since the start of the ground aggression on Gaza

The military spokesman for the Al-Qassam Brigades, Abu Ubaida, said, “Our mujahideen destroyed dozens of enemy military vehicles during the last week,” adding that “the total military vehicles we targeted since the start of the ground aggression reached 720 vehicles.”

The military spokesman for the Al-Qassam Brigades, Abu Ubaida, announced on Thursday that 720 Israeli military vehicles had been targeted since the start of the “ground aggression” on the Gaza Strip on October 27.

Abu Ubaida added, in a recorded audio speech: “Our mujahideen destroyed dozens of enemy military vehicles during the last week,” adding that “the total military vehicles we targeted since the start of the ground aggression reached 720 vehicles. The results of our targeting varied between total destruction and partial damage.”

The spokesman for the Al-Qassam Brigades stated: “Our mujahideen are still in the field confronting the enemy and inflicting losses on its soldiers, officers and vehicles,” adding that “the massive military support that the enemy is receiving only indicates its weakness.”

Abu Ubaida stressed that "what the enemy army is preoccupied with today is searching for an image of victory and achievement. Therefore, it celebrates the discovery of an old tunnel that is out of service or the bombing of a missile launcher that has expired."

In this context, the Al-Qassam Brigades spokesman said: “After committing massacres and crimes against our people, our enemy left us no choice but to take revenge on him and make him pay the price.”

He continued: "After 76 days of barbaric aggression against Gaza, our enemy is still committing war crimes recorded in his name in history."

He considered that "the enemy's goal of eliminating the resistance is doomed to failure," as "this has become an indisputable fact."

Regarding talk about Israel expressing its readiness for the possibility of reaching a new prisoner exchange deal with the Palestinian factions, Abu Ubaida said that “there is no path for the enemy to recover its prisoners except the exchange after the cessation of aggression.”

He concluded by saying: "We salute our resisting people in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem. We salute our nation's fighters who confuse the enemy, especially on the Yemen and Lebanon fronts."

Since last October 7, the Israeli occupation army has been waging a devastating war on Gaza, which, as of Wednesday, has left more than 20,000 Palestinian martyrs and 52,600 wounded, most of them children and women, massive destruction of infrastructure and an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe, according to the Gaza Strip authorities and the United Nations.
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