Avner Netanyahu, the youngest son of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has begun his three-year mandatory army.

Meanwhile, Father Gabriel Naddaf accompanied his eldest son Jubran to the recruitment office in Tiberias, where he will voluntarily join to serve in an elite unit and will join hundreds of Christians serving in the Israel Defense Forces. Jubran is joining out of a sense of mission and belonging as well as the aspiration to contribute to his country, Israel.

This decision for Jubran Naddaf is a result of home eduction:  his mother supports her son in the recruitment process. And sharing the burden, of course, is Father Gabriel himself, who is the spiritual father of the Israeli Christians Recruitment Forum. The Naddafs see this important step as a personal example to Christian parents to teach their children to love, cherish, honor and serve their country and to contribute to society!

Netanyahu said he was “full of pride” as his son enlisted in combat unit with Field Intelligence Corps. Avner previously won the National Bible Quiz.

“We are very moved, like every father and mother when their son goes to the army,” said Netanyahu and his wife Sarah. “We are full of pride and also natural concern, like every home in Israel – we are no different.”

JubranThe prime minister continued lightly, “I told Avner to protect the country and also to protect himself. I wish success to all the soldiers enlisting today, and for all the parents who are moved like us to calm down– it will be okay.”

Avner arrived at the enlistment point with a short military-standard haircut and a large bag with his belongings, before receiving a hug from his father and heading off to serve the nation.

Just four years ago Avner won Israel’s Youth Bible Quiz, going on to win third in the international Bible Quiz. Avner grew close to Judaism from the influence of his grandfather Shmuel Ben-Artzi, Sarah’s father, who late in his life began observing the commandments including Shabbat and kashrut (Jewish dietary laws).

Please pray for the protection of both sons!