IDF dismisses reservist signers of refusal letter


TEL AVIV (JTA) — The Israel Defense Forces terminated further service for 43 reservists who signed a letter declaring their refusal to participate in activities that harm Palestinians.

The reservists, who served in the elite 8200 intelligence unit, in their open letter last September said that some of the unit’s activities abuse Palestinian rights.

In a statement Tuesday, the IDF said it was releasing the reservists from military service because their conduct violated the IDF’s standards. The statement said that the IDF “views with great severity any attempt to elude mandatory military service especially when the act is intended to make a political statement,” according to the Times of Israel.

The IDF condemned the letter at the time, as did Israel’s political leadership.

In their letter, the reservists wrote, “The intelligence gathered harms innocents and is used for political persecution and for invading most areas of Palestinians’ lives. Our conscience no longer permits us to serve this system.”

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