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Draft resister sent back to prison: Eight sentences, 130 days

Natan Blanc is sentenced to prison for the eighth time after he once again refused to be inducted into the IDF. Palestinian prisoner dies of cancer in Israeli custody, prisoners launch hunger strikes.

Natan Blanc at the induction base this morning (Oren Ziv / Activestills)

Natan Blanc at the induction base this morning (Oren Ziv / Activestills)

Conscientious objector Natan Blanc was sentenced to an eighth prison term today. After having served 116 days in prison, Blanc received another 14-day sentence this morning when he reported to the induction base and once again refused to be inducted, due to what he defines as the “wave of aggressive militarism” in Israeli society, the occupation of Palestinian territories and the siege and military campaigns on Gaza.

Once released, Blanc will have to report to the induction base again and might face a ninth prison term, with no visible end to the process in sight. Recently the army’s “unsuitability committee,” which examined his case, found Blanc to be suitable for service and denied his request for an exemption based on his conscientious beliefs. As Blanc continues to refuse to see to the army psychologist for the extremely common “profile 21″ discharge on mental health grounds, there is no telling when he might be released. Blanc’s full statement can be found in the previous post I wrote about him.

Natan Blanc in prison waving a towel in supporters in a demonstration last month (Haggai Matar)

Natan Blanc in prison waving a towel to thank supporters in a demonstration last month (Haggai Matar)

As the young refuser spends more time in prison, support for him and his release is growing. Video clips made by Yesh Gvul (“There is a Limit”), the oldest refuser movement in Israel, show Blanc talking about his refusal and feature statements of support from Israeli and Palestinian activists. Activists have so far held three demonstrations on the hilltop opposite Military Prison No. 6, where Blanc is being held, played music to him over the wall and waved at him, recognizing his important step against the occupation and Apartheid.

Meanwhile, in the occupied territories the atmosphere became tense as a veteran Palestinian prisoner, Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh, died of cancer while in Israeli custody. Abu Hamdiyeh died after his request for an early release that would have allowed him to pass peacefully at home was denied by authorities. Demonstrations broke out in several places throughout the West Bank, and some prisoners declared a hunger strike of mourning and protest. The longest of the hunger strikes, carried out by Samer Issawi, has been ongoing for over six months.

Read also:
Hunger-striker Samer Issawi is another statistic in an unjust legal system
As Palestinian hunger strikes come to a head, world begins to take notice
Palestinian cartoonist detained for a month as prisoner protests grow

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  • COMMENTS

    1. Ed

      So much respect for this guy, really impressive to see such a mature and intelligent stand from someone who is only 19. Good luck to you Natan.

      Reply to Comment
    2. The Trespasser

      This guy deserves nothing more than a spit in his face.

      I surely hope that he’ll get enough of those in prison.

      Reply to Comment
      • Moody

        Tell us more about your mysogonist fascist hate dreams. sicko…

        Reply to Comment
        • The Trespasser

          As I’ve written elsewhere, fools come in crowds

          *facepalm*

          There is no such word – “mysogonist”

          Reply to Comment
      • Zephon

        Yes, you would be an expert on getting spat in the face.

        Reply to Comment
        • The Trespasser

          How very spiritually-Jewish of you.

          Reply to Comment
          • Zephon

            Hear that? That’s the sound of your brain finally losing its last electric signal – thus the end of what was left of your I.Q.

            Dementia is a bitch.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            One can’t technically hear the sound of electric currents in the brain.

            If you’d had any undamaged gray matter you’d known that.

            Reply to Comment
      • “deserves…a spit in the face. I surely hope that he’ll get enough of those in prision.”

        I shall no longer respond to the Trespasser label.

        Neti, Neti.

        Reply to Comment
        • The Trespasser

          Either way your posts contain about 0 bits of useful information.

          Reply to Comment
        • aristeides

          You know, of course, that “Trespasser” is actually an anti-Semitic plant, posting here to incite revulsion against Jews.

          And a very effective job he does, too.

          Reply to Comment
    3. aristeides

      So much for the “fair share of the burden” government.

      Reply to Comment
    4. rsgengland

      The prisoner that died had cancer.
      The prison authorities had begun the process of applying for his early release on health grounds.
      It is going to be ‘very interesting’ to see who, and how many try to use his death as a stick to beat Israel.

      Reply to Comment
      • aristeides

        Try to put your posts in the right column, gland.

        Reply to Comment
    5. This man of 19 shows more resolved maturity than I, at 55, ever have. The cycles he is being put through are a form of deprivation and labeling. This is as a hunger fast, for he is refusing the social path demanded of him at some cost. But, as you report, he is not alone in spirit.

      The last stages of cancer are rather obvious; I have seen it close up. I have no doubt he could have been released promptly on humanitarian grounds. But he wasn’t. Being Palestinian now has a natural retarding effect on Israeli State action (unless it is policing). If Rsgnd, above, does not want to see that, or cannot, this is not surprising.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Kolumn9

      950 days to go until he has done the days he is required to serve by law.

      As for the guy that died in prison. There is no obligation to release prisoners serving their time even if they are sick. He isn’t the first and he isn’t going to be the last inmate to die of cancer in prison.

      Reply to Comment
    7. aristeides

      What about the obligation to treat them so they might not die?

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        You are such an idiot… *facepalm*

        There could be no obligation to ensure that a prisoner would not die from cancer or other terminal decease.

        Reply to Comment
    8. XYZ

      I have been told that Moshe Feiglin opposes using coercion to force people to serve in the IDF that don’t want to, both Haredim and CO-types like Blanc. Instead, those who serve would be given special benefits. This seems reasonable to me….I don’t understand why the IDF would want someone like Blanc in uniform in the first place.

      Reply to Comment

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