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Netanyahu's son avoids enlisting, joins ambulance service

Israel PM's son Yair Netanyahu signs up for ambulance service after backlash for not joining army
2 min read
29 November, 2023
Yair Netanyahu registered to join the volunteer medical NGO United Hatzalah, after coming under sustained criticism for staying in Florida and not joining the Israeli military amid the Gaza war.
The son of the Israeli prime minister moved to the US after significant controversy over his social media posts [AFP via Getty-archive]

A son of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly volunteered for ambulance service after facing weeks of criticism for failing to join Israel's military in its war on Gaza.

Yair Netanyahu signed up for the United Hatzalah emergency medicine service, The Jerusalem Post reported on Tuesday.

"We have a link for people to register to volunteer... and Yair registered," organisation founder and president Eli Beer reportedly told the Israeli news outlet.

"We thought it was someone playing a prank on us. But when the team got back to him, it was Yair, and he said he would volunteer to do anything."

The Israeli PM's son has attracted criticism for not returning to Israel after his father's government started its war in Gaza on 7 October.

Some 15,000 people in Gaza have been killed since Israel began bombarding the territory the day a Palestinian group Hamas launched a large-scale attack on Israel killed around 1,200 people.

Israelis questioned why the 32-year-old was not among the hundreds of thousands of Israelis called up to serve in the war or joined those citizens who had flown into Israel to sign up to the military.

Yair has been based in the US for several months and from there has been fundraising for charities working with Israelis affected by Hamas' attack. He returned to Israel last week, according to The Jerusalem Post.

He has also been fundraising for United Hatzalah, including for two ambulances that together cost $500,000.

Netanyahu, a main advisor for his father, left Israel after he faced controversy and even court cases for his posts on social media.

Earlier this month, he blamed the judiciary and military for the 7 October attacks in a series of posts on his Telegram account.