Appreciate this article? +972 depends on your support.

Click here to help us keep going

Analysis News
Visit our Hebrew site, "Local Call" , in partnership with Just Vision.

After 130 days in prison, IDF frees conscientious objector Tamar Alon

‘The price I paid is small compared to the price millions of Palestinians have been paying for 50 years,’ says Alon, who was imprisoned for refusing to take part in the occupation.

By Yael Marom

Conscientious objector Tamar Alon holds up her release papers after spending 130 days in military prison. (Courtesy of Mesarvot)

Conscientious objector Tamar Alon holds up her release papers after spending 130 days in military prison. (Courtesy of Mesarvot)

After 130 days in military prison, the Israeli army on Wednesday released conscientious objector Tamar Alon from mandatory service. Alon served six terms in military prison for her refusal to be conscripted, which she said would have contributed to the oppression of the Palestinian people. She had expressed her willingness to instead perform civilian national service, an alternative the army rejected.

“The price I paid is small compared to the price millions of Palestinians have been paying for 50 years, whose basic rights are violated on a daily basis and whose freedom has yet to be returned to them like mine was returned to me,” Alon said upon being released from prison and military service.

“I will continue from within civil society to struggle for a just society and ending the occupation,” she continued. “I wish my friends and sisters still in military prison, among them Atalya Ben-Abba, a happy Passover and that they are released from prison quickly.”

Member of Knesset Zehava Galon intervened to secure Tamar Alon’s freedom from military prison. During a visit with Alon in military prison last week, the first time a Meretz MK has visited an imprisoned conscientious objector, the member of Knesset asked the prison commander to move up the date of the young woman’s hearing with a special committee that decides whether conscripts are “compatible” for army service.

Alon had her hearing on Sunday. Although the committee voted not to release her from military service,  a higher ranking officer nevertheless ordered her release from on the grounds of “incompatibility and especially bad behavior” — as is customary in the military following a lengthy imprisonment. A year ago, conscientious objector Tair Kaminer was released from prison after 155 days on the same grounds.

Last month, for the first time in 13 years, the Israeli army recognized refusal to serve in the occupation as conscientious objection. In that decision, Tamar Ze’evi was released from military service after 118 days in prison. The exact same committee refused to grant Tamar Alon conscientious objector status at the time, however, claiming that her refusal was not based solely in personal considerations — but was also an act of civil disobedience.

Atalya Ben-Abba, who has spent over 50 days in prison so far, is expected to declare her refusal to serve in the army again in the coming days, and be sentenced to an additional time in prison.

A number of conscientious objectors spent time in Israel military prison over the past year for their refusal to take part in the occupation. Additionally, last fall, Israeli military reservists of Ethiopian descent published a letter refusing to perform their mandatory reserve duty until police violence and institutional discrimination against their community is addressed. Other refusers have evaded military service in other ways without public declarations and prison sentences.

Yael Marom is Just Vision’s public engagement manager in Israel and a co-editor of Local Call, where this article was originally published in Hebrew. 

For additional original analysis and breaking news, visit +972 Magazine's Facebook page or follow us on Twitter. Our newsletter features a comprehensive round-up of the week's events. Sign up here.

Before you go...

A lot of work goes into creating articles like the one you just read. And while we don’t do this for the money, even our model of non-profit, independent journalism has bills to pay.

+972 Magazine is owned by our bloggers and journalists, who are driven by passion and dedication to the causes we cover. But we still need to pay for editing, photography, translation, web design and servers, legal services, and more.

As an independent journalism outlet we aren’t beholden to any outside interests. In order to safeguard that independence voice, we are proud to count you, our readers, as our most important supporters. If each of our readers becomes a supporter of our work, +972 Magazine will remain a strong, independent, and sustainable force helping drive the discourse on Israel/Palestine in the right direction.

Support independent journalism in Israel/Palestine Donate to +972 Magazine today
View article: AAA
Share article
Print article
  • LEAVE A COMMENT

    * Required

    COMMENTS

    1. Itshak Gordin Halevy

      What a shame. The only place for her is jail.

      Reply to Comment