In the six or so months that the coronavirus pandemic has been wreaking havoc in Israel, the Israel Defense Forces’ Personnel Directorate is noticing a sharp drop in the number of soldiers who go AWOL, Israel Hayom has learned.
With more than a million Israelis unemployed, the military seems to be holding onto its people at a higher rate than usual. This might be a cause-and-effect situation, as there are no lucrative side jobs available to tempt soldiers away from their compulsory service.
In March of this year, when the COVID-19 crisis began, the number of AWOL soldiers (282) was up by 2 percent compared to March 2019. In April 2020, the number of AWOL soldiers dropped by 25 percent (189 compared to 249 in April 2019), and in May that number dropped by another seven percent (227 AWOL soldiers compared to 347 in May 2019).
June saw the number plummet by another 35 percent, with 227 soldiers AWOL compared to 347 in June 2019, and the pattern repeated in July (223 AWOL soldiers compared to 260 in July 2019) and August (with 179 AWOL soldiers compared to 305 in August 2019). September 2020 saw no change.
As mentioned, the only reason why these troops go AWOL in the first place is to find better economic opportunities outside of the army. That’s because despite risking their lives, the IDF only pays its troops NIS 1,176 ($331) a month.
This compels many soldiers to seek side jobs outside of the army just to get by.
But one organization believes that no IDF soldier should have to work side jobs just to provide for themselves. That organization is Libi.
LIBI USA supports IDF soldiers by funding educational, religious, social and recreational activities not covered in the Military’s defense budget.
And now that the covid crisis is even affecting the pockets of Israel’s warriors, Libi has launched a charity campaign to raise funds for those very heroes who risk their lives to keep Israel safe.
Libi relies on charity from private donors worldwide who love the IDF and want to see them win.
So if you’d like to express your appreciation to Israel’s troops, now can be your chance.
Make a donation to the Libi organization. Show the IDF that you are right behind them in their holy mission.