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Soldiers Urge President Herzog to Intervene in the Territories

A delegation of 17 reserve officers and soldiers urged President Chaim Herzog Sunday to intervene on “humanitarian” grounds in the administered territories.

Herzog received the delegation and listened to their complaint about the “deteriorating moral values” of the Israel Defense Force in the territories.

The soldiers stressed that they belonged to no political organization. They said they were appealing to the president to act solely for humanitarian reasons, just as he did when he recently called for a judicial commission to investigate the health care crisis.

Herzog offered no comment and apparently will not take a stand on the issues raised.

Ten of the soldiers who visited Herzog just completed a month of duty in the territories. “We do not want to reach a point in which we will refuse to serve in the territories,” they said.

The soldiers told Herzog of their experiences serving in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. They complained about mass arrests of civilians, curfews, demolition of homes and heavy economic, military and psychological pressure on the Palestinians. They also spoke of several cases of misbehavior by soldiers.

They urged the president to press the political echelons to find a political solution for the territories.

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