According to The Jewish Chronicle, in a preliminary vote earlier this week, Israel’s Knesset approved a new law raising the minimum legal age to marry to 18:

An estimated 4,500 minors get married every year in Israel, 90 per cent of them teenage girls. Most of those are in the Israeli-Arab and strictly Orthodox communities. Social services and feminist organisations have been trying to convince the government to raise the age for a decade, claiming that, in many cases, the newlyweds are too young to start family life.

The measure was opposed by Israel’s strictly Orthodox community.  READ MORE: Knesset raises marriage age, The Jewish Chronicle Online (March 8, 2012).