Hundreds of Israeli Soldiers Refuse To Fight - April 5 2002
Hundreds of reserve combat officers and soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces are refusing to fight in the occupied Palestinian territories - saying that to do so is morally indefensible.
Tonight, 21 IDF soldiers are in Israeli jails for refusing to fight.
The objectors state: "We, combat officers and soldiers who have served the State of Israel for long weeks every year, in spite of the dear cost to our personal lives, have been on reserve duty all over the Occupied Territories, and were issued commands and directives that had nothing to do with the security of our country, and that had the sole purpose of perpetuating our control over the Palestinian people. We, whose eyes have seen the bloody toll this Occupation exacts from both sides... shall take no [further] part in them."
The objectors, who call themselves "Courage to Refuse" have set up a website, they say, because mainstream media refuses to print details of their stance.
The objectors are calling for signatures to a petition justifying their rebellion on humanitarian grounds. They say the advance into Palestinian territories is an evil driven by the Israeli government, by Defence officers that order soldiers to commit crimes against a defenceless peoples.
Assaf Oron, a reservist soldier says: "The Israeli government, in its policies of Occupation, has turned the Territories into a greenhouse for growing terror.
"We have sown the seeds, grown them, nurtured them - and then our blood is spilled, and the centrist-right-wing politicians reap the benefits. Indeed, terror is the right-wing politician's best friend.
"You know what? When you treat millions of people like sub-humans for so long, some of them will find inhuman strategies to fight back," Oron says.
Click here to read a letter from Assaf Oron an IDF reservist who refuses to take part in any further killings.
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Colin Powell, envoys from the United Nations, Russia and the European Union are scheduled to be in Israel next week where they will demand a cease to Israel's military occupation of the Palestinian territories.