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35 Days in Stockade for Officer Who Won’t Serve in Territories

The first career officer in the Israeli army to refuse to serve in the administered territories was jailed last week for 35 days in a military stockade.

Lt. Nir Keinan, 22, of Jerusalem, deputy commander of the crack Golani Brigade, reportedly called his soldiers together to tell them of his resolve to refuse to serve in the Gaza Strip.

Keinan previously served several terms in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. He reportedly told his company that he had qualms for some time about serving in the territories and finally decided to refuse an order.

Keinan is believed to be the 125th soldier jailed for refusing such service. All but nine were reservists. The rest, apart from Keinan, were soldiers serving their compulsory military duties.

Keinan’s jail term was one of the most severe sentences yet meted out.

A spokesman for Yesh Gvul (There’s a Limit), an organization that encourages refusal to serve in the territories, said there had lately been a tendency not to press charges against reservists refusing service, offering them instead alternative army service within the Green Line, or Israel’s pre-1967 boundaries.

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