Thursday, Mar 5, 2015Thursday, Mar 5, 2015

Israel to send call-up papers to Christian Arabs

Published on Apr 23, 2014 5:55 AM
Christian Arab worshipers carry wooden crosses along the Via Dolorosa (Way of Suffering) during the Good Friday procession on April 18, 2014 in Jerusalem's Old City. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

JERUSALEM (AFP) - Israel is to start sending call-up papers to all Christian Arabs of military service age, the army said on Tuesday, April 22, 2014, angering Arab lawmakers who accused the government of seeking to divide Christians from Muslims.

Military service will remain voluntary for Israel's 130,000 Christian Arabs as it is for its more than 1.3 million Muslim Arabs but only Christians will receive the call-up papers, an army spokesman said.

"The IDF (Israeli Defence Force) in coming weeks will begin to distribute to all potential Christian recruits voluntary enlistment forms," the spokesman said.

"Since the service of the Christian population in Israel is not obligatory by law, potential recruits are not required to respond to the invitation."

If you are not a subscriber, you can get instant, unlimited access here