Analysis News

Israeli air strikes kill 120 Palestinians in single day; Hamas refuses truce without end to blockade

Over 120 Palestinians were killed by Israeli airstrikes on Tuesday. as both Israel and Hamas evaluated a proposed humanitarian ceasefire. A top PLO official said that Palestinian factions in Gaza had agreed to a day-long humanitarian truce, a claim that was quickly refuted by Hamas.

Israeli airstrikes also destroyed Gaza’s only power station Tuesday morning. Amnesty International condemned the strike, saying it amounted to “collective punishment of Palestinians.” The strike on the plant is liable worsen severe problems with Gaza’s water supply, sewage treatment and power supplies to medical facilities.

Meanwhile, the head of Hamas’ military wing, Mohammed Deif, stated that “there won’t be a cease fire without the end of [Israeli] hostility and the lifting of the blockade.”

Deif turned to the residents of the Gaza and praised them for their “resilience.” According to Deif, Hamas “will not accept interim solutions, and Israel must know that it send its troops to hell.”

Operation Protective Edge has claimed the lives of more than 1,210 Palestinians, the vast majority of whom are civilians according to the UN, and has wounded over 7,000 others. On the Israeli side, 56 people have died since the operation began, including three civilians.

Peru and Chile recalled their Israel ambassadors late Tuesday due to what they deemed the “collective punishment” of Gaza. The two follow similar decisions by Ecuador and Brazil last week.

Funeral in Bani Suhaila for the 21 members of the Al-Najjar family, who were killed just before the ceasefire, east of Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, July 21, 2014. The Al-Najjar family flew their homes in Khuza'a to take refuge fi-urther west. Israeli attacks have killed 550 Palestinians in the current offensive, most of them civilians. Khuza'a has been under heavy attacks and many fled their village as the Israeli army physically occupies the village. Israeli attacks have killed more than 1,000 Palestinians and injured around 5,000 in the current offensive.

Funeral in Bani Suhaila for the 21 members of the Al-Najjar family, who were killed just before the ceasefire, east of Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, July 21, 2014. (photo: Activestills.org)

Just hours later, the armed wing released a video showing the previous day’s infiltration into a military base in Nahal Oz, which killed five Israeli soldiers. The release of the video came just hours after an...

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Five Israeli soldiers killed in Gaza; Palestinian death toll hits 1,088

As world leaders attempted to, once more, broker a humanitarian ceasefire between Israel and Hamas on Monday, the IDF announced that five Israeli soldiers were killed over the course of the day. Four of them were killed by mortar shell fire near the border with Gaza, while a fifth was killed in clashes with Hamas militants in the city of Khan Younis in southern Gaza.

The Israeli Air Force pounded the Strip into the early hours of Tuesday morning, a day after its airstrikes killed a total of 44 Palestinians. Another 12 bodies were recovered from the rubble by medical teams earlier in the day, according to Ma’an News Agency.

A woman mourns for her young kid who was murdered during an Israeli airstrike over UNRWA school in Beit Hanoun, July 24, 2014. (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

A woman mourns for her young child, killed by an Israeli airstrike over an UNRWA school in Beit Hanoun, July 24, 2014. (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

Ma’an also reported that 10 people were killed Monday afternoon by an Israeli air strike on a children’s playground in al-Shati refugee camp. Families had gathered to celebrate the first day of the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which ended in horror with eight children among the dead. Although Israel blamed the deaths on a misfired Islamic Jihad rocket, eyewitnesses, along with Gaza police who inspected the rubble and victims’ bodies, confirmed the strike was Israeli.

Gaza Ministry of Health Spokesman said over the last 21 days, a total of 1,088 Palestinians have been killed and 6,470 have been injured. Of the dead, 251 were children and 50 elderly, while 1,980 children and 259 elderly have been wounded.

Earlier on Monday, five Palestinian militants breached the Israeli border and opened fire at IDF soldiers near Nahal Oz on the border with Gaza. The soldiers returned fire, killing one Palestinian. According to the IDF, the other militants retreated to the tunnel shaft from which they came, and an Israeli aircraft in the area did not manage to target them.

In a press conference Monday evening, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel is prepared for a prolonged operation in Gaza, saying that “there is no war more just than the heroic one our sons are fighting in.”

           Click here for +972′s full coverage of the war in...

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Obama calls on Netanyahu to accept unconditional humanitarian ceasefire; 15 killed in Gaza

In a phone call held Sunday night, U.S. President Barack Obama told Prime Minister Netanyahu that there is a “strategic imperative” to reach an immediate humanitarian ceasefire based on the one agreed to in November 2012 after the previous round of fighting between Israel and Hamas.

According to Obama, the U.S. supports the Egyptian ceasefire initiative, as well as international efforts to bring about an end to hostilities, stressing that any solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must include the disarmament of Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Palestinians inspect damages in Abasan village, East of Khan Yunis, July 27, 2014. During the ceasefire on 26 July, many Palestinians went back to Abasan to inspect the damages together with medics who attempted to rescue injured or collect bodies. Israeli attacks have killed more than 1,000 Palestinians and injured around 5,000 in the current offensive. (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

Palestinians inspect the damage in Abasan, east of Khan Younis, July 27, 2014.  (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

The call comes on the heels of a 40-hour humanitarian ceasefire that ended late Saturday night after rockets were shot from Gaza into Israel. The Israeli security cabinet voted to extend a humanitarian pause in fighting until midnight Sunday, as per the UN’s request, but insisted that the IDF continue to neutralize Gaza tunnels. A Hamas spokesman responded to the decision by stating that “Any ceasefire that doesn’t ensure that the IDF pulls out of Gaza and the evacuation of the injured is not acceptable to Hamas.” However, the organization later requested another humanitarian ceasefire, which the Israeli cabinet rejected.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry attempted to broker a ceasefire on Friday evening, although his proposal was immediately shot down by Israeli cabinet members who bashed Kerry for proposing a ceasefire which, in their eyes, served Hamas’ interests and betrayed Israel. According to Haaretz’s Barak Ravid, a top U.S. official called the reactions “extremely offensive. Mainly the charges that he betrayed our closest ally in the region – Israel.”

The official added that the draft proposal presented by Kerry to Israel was intended “for Israeli comments and input” as part of a coordinated effort by the U.S. and Israel to secure a ceasefire.

According to the Gaza Health Ministry, 15 Palestinians were killed by IDF fire on Saturday, and 53 others were wounded. According to Ma’an News Agency, Palestinian medics...

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Gaza: Over 100 Palestinians, 13 Israeli soldiers killed in single day

At least 100 Palestinians, including 66 in the Shujaiyeh neighborhood of Gaza City - of which 17 were reportedly children – were killed today (Sunday) bringing the total death toll to 437. Thirteen Israeli soldiers were killed Sunday in battle in the neighborhood, bringing the number of Israeli fatalities over the course of the operation to 18, not including two civilians who died in rocket attacks.

Army sources said seven of the 13 Israeli soldiers were in an armored personnel carrier hit by an anti-tank missile, while others were killed setting up positions inside houses they had taken over.

The death toll was the highest for the Israeli military’s since the Second Lebanon War, and the highest number of Palestinians killed since fighting broke out on July 8. According to Ma’an News Agency, 66 bodies were recovered from Shujaiyeh, in what medical authorities called a “massacre” and a level of violence not seen before in the ongoing conflict.

According to Ma’an, news of the kidnapping sparked celebration across Palestinian cities, with gunshots and fireworks heard in Gaza City, Bethlehem, and elsewhere.

Gazans flee the Shejaiya area after Israeli tanks invaded the area, bombarding it heavly, causeing over 60 casulties and hundreds wounded, July 20, 2014. (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

Gazans flee the Shejaiya area after Israeli tanks invaded the area, bombarding it heavly, causeing over 60 casulties and hundreds wounded, July 20, 2014. (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

At least 500 Palestinians were injured in Israeli attacks on Wednesday, and more than 3,000 have been wounded in the past two weeks, while Reuters reports that 81,000 displaced people had now taken refuge in 61 UNRWA shelters.

Earlier on Sunday, Prime Minister Netanyahu told CNN that Israel has no plans of reoccupying the Gaza Strip. President Barack Obama spoke to Netanyahu on the phone, telling him that the U.S. seeks “an immediate cessation of hostilities” between Israel and Hamas, based on the cease-fire agreement implemented in November 2012 after Operation Pillar of Defense. Hours later, Netanyahu addressed the Israeli public, saying that the operation will be extended as necessary. Netanyahu added that after Israel accepted three cease-fire offers, it now has international backing for the ground operation.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Cairo on Monday to meet with Egyptian officials about the crisis. Kerry was caught sarcastically...

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Israeli army launches ground invasion of Gaza Strip

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the Israeli army to begin a ground incursion into Gaza on Thursday night. According to a statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office, both Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon called for the ground operation in order to damage underground tunnels leading into Israeli territory.

The move came just hours after the Israeli army thwarted an infiltration attempt by armed Palestinians through a tunnel from Gaza.

According to the statement, the order was “approved by the security cabinet, after Israel agreed to the Egyptian cease-fire proposal which Hamas rejected and proceeded to fire rockets at Israel.”

Palestinian sources say 240 people have been killed by Israeli airstrikes in Gaza, including seven children who died Thursday. Approximately 1,800 have been injured. One Israeli died as a result of mortar fire from Gaza on Wednesday night.

According to Reuters, Gaza residents and medical officials reported heavy shelling along the eastern borders from the southern town of Rafah up to the north of the enclave. Ma’an News Agency reported that over 20 Palestinians have been wounded since the ground incursion began.

Related:
This is a war of choice. Netanyahu’s choice
Why I object to this military campaign, even as missiles fall on my city

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Israeli right demands punitive measures against Palestinians following abductees' murder

Palestinian teenager killed in clashes in Jenin while Israeli Air Force strikes over 30 targets in Gaza. Hamas still denies involvement in the deadly kidnapping.

Israeli soldiers near the Palestinian city of Halhul, where the bodies of the three kidnapped Israeli teenagers were found. (photo: Activestills)

Israeli soldiers near the Palestinian city of Halhul, where the bodies of the three kidnapped Israeli teenagers were found. (Photo: Activestills.org)

In response to the murder of the three Israeli teenagers kidnapped two weeks ago, the Israeli Air Force struck 34 targets in Gaza Tuesday night, while four rockets were fired into southern Israel from the Strip. In the West Bank, the Israeli army killed 16-year-old Yusef Abu Zaga in Jenin after it entered the city to make arrests.

Israel’s High Court approved the destruction of the home of Ziyad Awad Tuesday morning. Awad is standing trial in military court for the murder of Baruch Mizrachi, who was killed while traveling with his family near Hebron on Passover eve. Awad has not been convicted of the allegations leveled against him.

Israeli troops reportedly damaged the family homes of two suspects in the deadly kidnappings, although the army initially denied demolishing the homes. Elsewhere in Hebron, Israeli settlers reportedly threw stones at Palestinian homes and one Palestinian man was reportedly taken to hospital after being beaten by soldiers. Settlers also reportedly marched through the Old City of Hebron demanding revenge.

The damaged family home of Amer Abu Aisheh, one of two Palestinians identified by Israel as suspects in the killing of three Israeli teenagers, after it was damaged by the Israeli army in the West Bank city of Hebron, Tuesday, July 1, 2014. Abu Aisheh has not been arrested by security forces have been searching for him since the kidnappings, his family says. (Photo by Activestills.org)

The damaged family home of Amer Abu Aisheh, one of two Palestinians identified by Israel as suspects in the killing of three Israeli teenagers, after it was damaged by the Israeli army in the West Bank city of Hebron, Tuesday, July 1, 2014. Abu Aisheh has not been arrested but security forces have been searching for him since the kidnappings, his family says. (Photo by Activestills.org)

After the boys’ bodies were discovered on Monday, Israeli...

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Druze conscientious objector Omar Sa'ad released from military service

Six months after he was sentenced to his first prison term for refusing to join the IDF, Druze conscientious objector Omar Sa’ad was released from military service on Wednesday.

Sa’ad, an 18-year-old violist from the northern village Maghar, was sentenced to his first term on December 5th, 2013 in the Tiberias induction base. Since then, he was sentenced six more times for a total of 150 days.

Omar Sa'ad, a Palestinian-Druze conscientious objector, walks into the Tiberias induction base, where he will state his refusal to be drafted to the Israeli army, December 4, 2013. Over 100 family members, friends and activists protested on Wednesday morning to support Omar, who is expected to sent to military prison after refusing the draft. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Omar Sa’ad, a Palestinian-Druze conscientious objector, walks into the Tiberias induction base, where he will state his refusal to be drafted to the Israeli army, December 4, 2013. Over 100 family members, friends and activists protested on Wednesday morning to support Omar, who is expected to sent to military prison after refusing the draft. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Sa’ad first stated his intention to refuse in late 2012, when he sent an open letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu which declared his support for Palestinians under occupation, as well as his opposition to recruitment into the IDF “and any other army for conscience and nationalistic reasons.” Although the Druze are considered to be an ethnic group that has assimilated well in the Israeli community, the voices of refusal have become stronger in recent years, and especially in the wake of Sa’ad’s refusal.

While Muslim and Christian Arabs with Israeli citizenship are exempt from military service, Druze men are required to serve for three years. (Druze women, however, are exempt, as are religious Jewish women.)

WATCH: Sa’ad tells Netanyahu: ‘I will not be a soldier in your army’

Upon his release from prison, Sa’ad released a statement thanking his supporters and reiterating his stance against military service:

I was sentenced 7 times for a period of 150 days, and 46 days ago between home and hospital, and every time before sending me out to prison, they ask me the same question: “Why you refuse to serve in the IDF?

My answer was always the same: “I refuse because I am an integral part of the Palestinian Arab people....

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Beitunia killings: Autopsy reveals Palestinian teen shot by live fire

An autopsy of Nadim Syam Nuwara, one of the two teenagers killed last month during the Nakba Day protests in Beitunia, reveals that that the teen was killed by live fire, according to a report by Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem.

According to B’Tselem, Nuwara’s body has been well-preserved, making the point of entry and exit, as well as the route of the bullet, easily identifiable.

Relatives of Nadim Seeam Abu Kara mourn in the hospital before his funeral procession in the West Bank city of Ramallah on May 16, 2014. Abu Kara and Muhammad Abu Da'har were shot dead by Israeli forces during clashes the previous day outside the Israeli-run Ofer prison following a protest commemorating the Nakba. Foreign press published that the two died in a Ramallah hospital after being shot in the chest during a protest to demand the release of thousands of Palestinians held by Israel. (Activestills.org)

Relatives of Nadim Sayam Nuwara mourn in the hospital before his funeral procession in the West Bank city of Ramallah on May 16, 2014. (Activestills.org)

Although the report is slated to be released in the next several days, doctors have rejected the possibility that the cause of death was rubber bullets, and are fairly confident that the bullet entered through Nuwara’s front side. The autopsy was performed by a team of Palestinian specialists, in the presence of Danish, Portuguese, American, and two Israeli doctors.

WATCH: Footage shows Israeli army’s killing of two Palestinian teens

Furthermore, the doctors also removed four pieces of shrapnel from the body, and one of the pathologists told B’Tselem that he is convinced that they are made of lead and came from the bullet.

Those who have been following the story closely may recall that the IDF immediately denied using live bullets in the deaths of Nuwara, 17, and Mohammad Mahmoud Odeh, 16. Initially, military investigators claimed that shots may have been fired by the Palestinian side, rather than by Israeli troops, while top Israeli officials claimed the video, captured by security cameras, was actually forged.

A few days later, CNN footage revealed that it was likely that a Border Policeman was responsible for firing at at least one of the teens, but did not provide any conclusive evidence regarding the kind of bullets used. The Israeli mainstream media unquestioningly...

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Former Prime Minister Olmert sentenced to six years in prison for bribery

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was sentenced Tuesday morning to six years in prison on bribery charges in the biggest corruption scandal in Israel’s history.

Olmert was convicted of accepting bribes in exchange for expediting the permit process for the Holyland real estate development while he was mayor of the city, years before his premiership. The sentencing comes 10 years after the state began its investigation.

Olmert, who was acquitted of similar charges in a different case, had held out hope for a return to politics if he were acquitted in this case, too. Olmert is planning on appealing the court’s decision.

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert enters the courtroom at the Tel Aviv District Court prior to the reading of his sentence in the Holyland trial, May 13 2014 (Photo: Activestills.org)

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert enters the courtroom at the Tel Aviv District Court prior to the reading of his sentence in the Holyland trial, May 13 2014 (Photo: Activestills.org)

Olmert served two terms as mayor of Jerusalem between 1993 and 2003, and was the prime minister of Israel from 2006 until 2009. During his term as prime minister, Olmert launched the Second Lebanon War in 2006, took part in the 2007 Annapolis Peace Conference headed by former U.S. President George W. Bush and sent the Israeli army to invade Gaza in Operation Cast Lead.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, President George W. Bush, and President Mahmoud Abbas at Annapolis, November 27, 2007 (Photo: Gin Kai)

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, President George W. Bush, and President Mahmoud Abbas at Annapolis, November 27, 2007 (Photo: Gin Kai)

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Druze conscientious objector hospitalized with liver infection

Omar Sa’ad was hospitalized late last week after complaining for three straight days of chest pains. Attempts by military intelligence to transfer him to Tel Aviv’s Ichilov hospital failed after both his family and medical staff protested the life-threatening decision.

Omar Sa’ad, a Druze conscientious objector who is currently serving his seventh prison term for refusing to join the Israeli army, was hospitalized in Haifa last week with a liver infection. According to a report by Raanan Shemesh Forshner, two policemen are currently guarding Sa’ad’s hospital room “so that he does not escape.”

On Saturday, while he was still undergoing treatments, military police personnel arrived at the hospital and asked to transfer Sa’ad to Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv. Both the family and the hospital staff opposed the transfer, which they viewed as an opportunistic maneuver with no medical justification. In the end, Omar was allowed to remain in Haifa’s Bnei Zion Hospital.

Omar Sa'ad lays in a hospital bed in Bnei Tzion Hospital, Haifa. (photo: Zaharaldin Sa'ad)

Omar Sa’ad lays in a hospital bed in Bnei Tzion Hospital, Haifa. (photo: Zaharaldin Sa’ad)

In an interview with Forshner, Omar’s father, Zaharaldin, had this to say:

Finally, at the insistence of the family, Dr. Schiff told the intelligence officer that Omar will be in real danger if transferred to another hospital, and it was decided that he would remain at Bnei Zion. According to Zaharaldin, Omar’s health deteriorated after the rushed attempt to transfer him.

Sa’ad, who has served 142 days in military jail, had been complaining of chest pains and tremors for three days before his hospitalization, his father told Forshner. Omar told his father that the prison guards at Prison 4 ignored his complaints, thinking he was pretending or exaggerating. Omar was then transferred to Prison 6, where it was decided to move him to a military medical clinic. There, a doctor decided that he must be immediately moved to the emergency room. Omar was hospitalized in the internal ward after doctors stated that his liver was on the verge of collapse.

His father has no doubt that the conditions of Prison 4 led to his son’s condition. After visiting Omar in prison for the first time (his previous sentences were served in Prison 6), Zaharaldin was shocked by the stench and the look of the place. “Omar...

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Palestinian activist given house arrest for a Facebook status

In the latest case of Israeli police detaining Palestinian activists for social media activity, a Lod man is placed under house arrest and has equipment confiscated for openly opposing the enlistment of Christian Arabs on his Facebook page.

Israel Police placed Lod resident and Palestinian citizen of Israel Ghassan Munair, 44, under house arrest this week for posting a Facebook status that decried the government’s attempts to enlist Christian Arabs into the Israeli army.

A youth sits near a cross overlooking the surrounding countryside in the displaced Palestinian village of Iqrit in northern Israel, April 21, 2014. Iqrit's original inhabitants were forcibly evacuated in the Nakba of 1948. Though the Israeli high court granted the residents, who are Palestinian citizens of Israel, the right to return to their homes in 1951, the military destroyed the village and has since prevented their return. Only the village's church and cemetery remained intact, and are still used by village residents while they campaign for a full return.

A youth sits near a cross overlooking the surrounding countryside in the displaced Palestinian village of Iqrit in northern Israel, April 21, 2014. Iqrit’s original inhabitants were forcibly evacuated in the Nakba of 1948. Though the Israeli high court granted the residents, who are Palestinian citizens of Israel, the right to return to their homes in 1951, the military destroyed the village and has since prevented their return.

According to Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, Munair was summoned to the local police station, where he was interrogated for a Facebook status deemed by the police to be “threatening.” Munair allegedly posted a photo of Greek Orthodox Father Gabriel Nadaf – a spiritual leader among the Christian population in Israel, and a proponent of Christian enlistment in the Israeli Defense Forces – alongside Finance Minister Yair Lapid, with the following caption:

For the sake of freedom of speech and transparency
The faces and names of the “honorable” who appear
in the following photos are the same ones who want to enlist your sons
against your people – remember this

During the interrogation, which focused mainly on his ideological stances vis-a-vis the issue of enlistment of Christian citizens, Munair was told that he was detained due to the threatening nature of his status. Police said he could...


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PHOTOS: Settlers assault Palestinian NGO worker in northern West Bank

Settlers attacked a Palestinian NGO worker in the West Bank village of Burin on Sunday.

According to Yesh Din, an Israeli human rights organization that provides legal assistance to Palestinians in the West Bank, the settlers attacked Munir Kadus (a Yesh Din investigator) as he was accompanying a group of Palestinians who were paving a road in the village Burin, south of Nablus. The settlers allegedly came from the direction of Givat Ronen, an outpost neighborhood of Har Bracha.

Settlers and Israeli soldiers seen in Burin, West Bank. (photo: Yesh Din)

Settlers and Israeli soldiers seen in Burin, West Bank. (photo: Yesh Din)

Kadus, who sustained injuries to his arm and both ribs, was released from Rafidia Hospital in Nablus on Sunday afternoon. According to Yesh Din, the Palestinians were accompanied by a large number of soldiers, since the road work was done in accordance with the Israeli military and the Civil Administration. Despite the presence of the soldiers, the settlers were able to harass the road workers. The settlers also walked among the houses of the village, throwing stones at Palestinians.

Munir Kadus lays in the Rafidia Hospital in Nablus after being attacked by settlers in the village of Burin. (photo: 'i love you burin' Facebook page)

Munir Kadus lays in the Rafidia Hospital in Nablus after being attacked by settlers in the village of Burin. (photo: ‘i love you burin’ Facebook page)

According to Yesh Din, the Committee for Settlers in Samaria called for Israelis to arrive at the scene and disrupt the work on its official Facebook page. The page also boasted about the villagers’ attempt at paving the road, which was also disrupted by settlers.

Related:
WATCH: Settlers assault Israeli in West Bank, tell soldiers to shoot
WATCH: IDF soldiers escort masked settlers attacking Palestinian village



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Israeli teens tell Netanyahu: We will not take part in occupation

Nearly 50 Israeli teenagers of draft age send letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu, stating clearly that they will refuse to join the IDF due to the occupation of the West Bank, and the violent effect it has on Israeli society.

Dozens of Israel teenagers signed a letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu on Saturday, in which they announced that they would refuse to serve in the Israeli army come draft time.

According to the letter, the teenagers are refusing to enlist in the army due to their “opposition to the military occupation of Palestinian territories,” where “human rights are violated, and acts defined under international law as war-crimes are perpetuated on a daily basis.” Aside from the ultra-Orthodox and Palestinian citizens of Israel, army service is mandatory for all Israelis (three years for males, two for females).

The letter goes on to decry the effect of the occupation on Israeli society itself, especially the way it “shapes the educational system, our workforce opportunities, while fostering racism, violence and ethnic, national and gender-based discrimination,” and promotes and perpetuates “male dominance” and oppressive gender structures within the army itself.

Dafna Rotstein (left) and Roy Lax, two of the refuseniks who signed the letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu. Lax:

Dafna Rotstein (left) and Roni Lax, two of the refuseniks who signed the letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu. Lax: ‘If they decide to enlist me by force, I’ll sit in prison.’

Udi Segal, an 18 year old from Kibbutz Tuval in Israel’s north told +972 that his signing of the letter is connected to the rightward shift taking place in Israeli society.

“I cannot take part in an army that occupies another people and makes Israeli society more violent and apathetic to what is happening,” says Segal.

17-year-old Elza Bugnet, who also signed the letter, says the issue is not solely about opposing the military. “The idea is to bring the idea of the occupation up for public discussion. To create a new understanding of enlistment and what that means for Israelis, and especially what it means for the occupation.”

Bugnet, who is originally from Tel Aviv, says that her friends and family support her decision to refuse. “I get a lot of support from my family – we share the same beliefs. A lot of my friends don’t necessarily agree with my choice, but appreciate...

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