Voicing their opposition to expanded autonomy in the West Bank, a group of Israeli reserve officers and soldiers has announced its members would not show up for reserve duty.
Reserve Capt. Danny Hoffman, the informal spokesman for the group, called the redeployment of Israeli troops in the West Bank, part of the Interim Agreement, “an immoral order.”
The agreement, signed in Washington on Sept. 28, calls in part for the redeployment of the Israel Defense Force from Palestinian population centers in the West Bank.
“We are a group of officers and soldiers, about 10 people at the moment, who want to serve in the army by defending the State of Israel,” Hoffman told the daily newspaper Yediot Achronot.
In a letter to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, the group said it would no longer serve in the reserves because the army’s job is to help build the country, “not to be the trustee over a collapsing national concern.|
An IDF spokesman responded, saying that refusal to do reserve duty was against the law.
Government and opposition members alike criticized the group’s stand.
Rafael Eitan, leader of the right-wing Tsomet Party and a former IDF chief of staff, said all soldiers are required to follow orders, adding that a failure to do so would lead to the collapse of the country’s defense forces.