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article imageIsraeli army uses Facebook to catch draft dodgers

By Kim I. Hartman     Dec 1, 2010 in World
Jerusalem - The Israeli military has a new weapon in its war against potential draft dodgers: Facebook. At least for now, it's being aimed at women who are attempting to avoid mandatory service in Israel's Armed Forces.
Around a 1,000 Israeli women who tried to avoid military service by pretending to be religious have been caught, and returned to service, through their Facebook accounts, an army spokesman said, reported the New Zealand Herald.
By using the popular social networking site, the Israeli military has managed to track down hundreds of women who lied about being religiously observant, Captain Arye Shalicar told the AFP, according to the NZ report.
One woman was caught out after she posted a photograph in which she is seen eating in a non-kosher restaurant, while others were caught wearing revealing clothing, he said.
Others were caught out by accepting invitations to parties on a Friday night – which were sent out as bait by firms of private investigators paid to root out the fakers
"If you see someone updating their account on Shabbat, it tells you she is using a computer, and probably talking on the phone and watching TV, which is forbidden," Shalicar said in the UK Telegraph.
Military service is compulsory for Israelis over age 18. Men are required to serve three years, and women must serve two. Those who sign a declaration saying they keep kosher and observe the Sabbath -- by not using machinery or going out of the house -- are exempt, according to AOL news.
AllFacebook.com reports, Brid.-Gen Amir Rogovsky of The Israeli Defense Forces said that the IDF currently has six offices tasked with investigating the religious claims of women who would otherwise be eligible for military service. When a woman submits a statement declaring herself to be religious, the army has 60 days to challenge it.
The Israel Defense Forces has seen a steep increase in draft-dodging numbers. Early this year, the army's personnel director, Maj. Gen. Avi Zamir, said nearly 40 percent of Israeli youths were evading enlistment. "If these trends continue, we'll be on the brink of an abyss," he said in January, according to Israel's news website Ynetnews.com.
MSNBC reported, All of the draft-dodgers have been brought back to duty.
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