Thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel became eligible for military service on Wednesday, after a law granting them exemptions expired at midnight dpa reproted
The 2002 law that allowed full-time students at Jewish seminaries to defer military service was struck down by the Supreme Court in February.
Consequently, the 1949 law - amended in 1986 - which mandates compulsory military service for all citizens aged 18 come in force.
Lawmakers have been unable to agree on an alternative to the expired law. Ultra-Orthodox youth are however not expected to enlist in large numbers until a stop-gap measure is found.
On Tuesday, Defence Minister Ehud Barak gave the military one month to come up with a "practical proposal" for the implementation of the 1949 law.
The issue of the ultra-Orthodox and military service has been simmering for years, and recently sparked mass demonstrations calling for "service for all".
When Israel's first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, agreed to allow the ultra-Orthodox to evade military service in favour of studying Jewish law, the number that qualified for such exemption stood at 400 but by 2010 had swelled to 62,500.
According to one set of data, 1,282 out of 8,500 eligible ultra-Orthodox men had enlisted in the military last year.