“We Refuse To Enlist In Israeli Army That Violates Palestinians’ Rights”; 63 Teens Wrote In A Letter To Netanyahu
Enlistment rates are sinking and dropout rates stand at over 7,000 male and female soldiers each year

On Thursday morning, an Israeli daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported that 63 teens have publicly declared they will refuse to be drafted into the Israel army.

In a letter sent to Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot and the defense and education ministers, they wrote: “We have decided not to take part in the occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people,” they added: “The ‘temporary’ situation has dragged on for 50 years, and we will not go on lending a hand.”

“The army is carrying out the government’s racist policy, which violates basic human rights and executes one law for Israelis and another law for Palestinians on the same territory,” they wrote criticising the government and the army.

They also protested “intentional institutional incitement against Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line,” referring to the 1949 armistice line separating Israel from the West Bank, “and we here – draft-age boys and girls from different areas of the country and from different socioeconomic backgrounds – refuse to believe the system of incitement and to participate in the government’s arm of oppression and occupation.”

The students called on others to reconsider being drafted, adding that intended to go around the country to recruit for their initiative.

Read More: Celebrities Break Silence And Condemn Israel’s Abuse Of Palestinians

They wrote: “We refuse to be drafted and to serve in the army out of an obligation to values of peace, justice, and equality, with the knowledge that there is another reality that we could create together,” the students added: “We call on girls our age to ask themselves, will army service work toward this reality?”

Matan Helman, 20, of Kibbutz Haogen, who is serving jail time because of his refusal to be drafted into the army is also one of the signatories.

Earlier this month, the education ministry and the IDF declared that they were working on a plan to increase the number of draftees enlisting for the army. Currently, enlistment rates are sinking and dropout rates stand at over 7,000 male and female soldiers annually.

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