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ISRAEL: Update on 12 imprisoned conscientious objectors and refuseniks.

Country:
  • Israel
Alert:

War Resisters' International is very concerned about the harsh treatment of conscientious objectors in Israel. At present, at least 12 conscientious objectors are in prison, several of them for the 6th or even 7th time. Two conscientious objectors started a hunger strike last week (see ISR12841-12842-180103: ISRAEL: Two conscientious objectors on hunger strike).

Edan Landau (ISR11139), Captain (res.) has been jailed to 14 days imprisonment on 21 January 2003. Edan Landau spent already 14 days in prison 1 1/2 years ago, for refusing to serve in the Occupied Territories. Landau is a lecturer in linguistics at the Ben Gurion University in Beersheba. At his trial for his first imprisonment in July 2001, he declared: "In progress in the Occupied Territories is a war of repression entirely subservient to the ideology of the settlement drive. The Palestinian population is being subjected to starvation, denial of medical treatment, demolition of homes and economoc strangulation. I will take no part in these war crimes, nor will I serve as a fig leaf for them."

As reported in an earlier co-alert (ISR12371-160103: ISRAEL: Seventh prison term for Jonathan Ben-Artzi), conscientious objector Jonathan Ben-Artzi is presently serving his seventh prison term for refusing to be enlisted. This time he was sentenced by General Gil Regev, Head of Manpower division in the Army. He is due to be released on 16 February 2003, but might even be imprisoned again for the eighth time.

Conscientious objector Dror Boimel (ISR12373) was sentenced again to 35 days in prison on 19 January 2003. This is his sixth prison term in a row. Dror Boimel was sentenced for the fifth time on 3 December - another 28 days. Dror Briomel was first sentenced on 5 September, and was again sentenced on 26 September, 23 October, and 5 November 2002. He is held in Military Prison No 4.

Conscientious objector Haggai Matar (ISR12701) was sentenced to a third prison term, bringing the total up to 103 days. Haggai Matar received a second prison sentence in November - 28 days. He was first sentenced to 14 days in prison on 23 October, which he spent in Military Prison No 4. Haggai Matar is one of the founders of the "Shministim" movement - the movement of high school students who declare their refusal to serve in the Occupied Territories. This years' "Seniors' letter" (which can be found at http://oznik.com/petitions/020917.html) was signed by more than 210 high school students. He serves his third prison term in Military Prison No 6.

Conscientious objector Matan Kaminer (ISR12840) is serving a second prison term of 14 days. He already spent 28 days in prison (see ISR12701-12840to12847-070103: ISRAEL: New refuseniks in prison again).

Conscientious objectors Hillel Goral (ISR12841) and Noam Bahat (ISR12842) started a hunger strike on 16 January 2003 (see ISR12841-12842-180103: ISRAEL: Two conscientious objectors on hunger strike). Hillel Goral was transferred on 19 January to Military Prison No 6, where he is held in the isolation ward. Noam Bahat is held in the isolation ward of Military Prison No 4. Both received visits from their families and from lawyers. Reportedly, they are in good spirits. Hillel Goral's statement can be read at http://wri-irg.org/co/cases/goral.htm. Noam Bahat's statement is available at http://wri-irg.org/co/cases/bahat.htm.

Conscientious objector Adam Maor (ISR12843) was sentenced to a second prison term of 42 days. He already spent 28 days in prison recently (see ISR12701-12840to12847-070103: ISRAEL: New refuseniks in prison again).

Conscientious objector Shimri Tzamaret (ISR12847) started a second prison term today. The sentence is not yet known. He already spent 28 days in prison. (see ISR12701-12840to12847-070103: ISRAEL: New refuseniks in prison again).

There are also several new conscientious objectors in prison: Refusenik Yoni Kozlovsky (ISR12876) was sentenced on 19 January to 28 days in prison for refusening to serve in the Occupied Territories. Kozlovsky, who is preparing his Ph.D. thesis in neuroscience at the Tel Aviv University, is brother of Ro'i Kozlovsky, who was sentenced for refusal before the outbreak of the intifada. He is due to be released from prison on 13 February. Yoni Kozlovski is currently held in Military Prison No 4, but he has asked to be transferred to Prison 6.

Refusenik Avshalom Ben-Zvi (ISR12877), a 19-year-old conscript and signatory of the Seniors' Letter 2002, was sentenced on 14 January 2003 to 21 days for refusing to serve in the Occupied Territories. He is due out of prison on 1 February. Due to the great overload that the military prison system experiences for some months now, he is held not in one of the military prisons, but in a detention cell in one of the military training bases in the center of Israel. We do not have the address of this location, but it is possible to send him letters c/o the Seniors' Letter 2002, POB 70094, Haifa 31700, or via e-mail at mailto:Shministim@hotmail.com.

Refusenik Lior Livneh (ISR12878) was sentenced on 7 January to 28 days in prison for his refusal to perform his reserves duties in the Ktziot detention camp for Palestinian prisoners. He is due out of prison on 1 February 2003.

War Resisters' International is very concerned about the developments in the treatment of conscientious objectors in Israel, especially regarding those conscripts who refuse to enlist. In the past the general practice was to exempt a conscientious objector from military service after he spent more than 90 days in prison. Now there are several conscientious objectors with more than 100 days in prison - and the imprisonment still doesn't stop. The fact that Jonathan Ben-Artzi wasn't sentenced by the commander of the induction base - which would be the normal procedure - but the General Gil Regev, Head of Manpower Division of the army, indicates that this is a policy decision made at the top level of the Israeli Defence Forces, and not just a faulty decision by lower ranks.

Therefore, War Resisters' International urges everybody to write strongly worded letters to the Israeli authorities. It is especially important to send protest faxes to:

* Gil Regev, Head of Manpower Division, Fax: +972-3-5699400
* Menachem Finkelstein, Military Attorney General, Military postal code 9605, IDF, Fax: +972-7376052
* Deborah Chassid, Commander of Induction Base in Tel-Hashomer, Military Postal Code 02718, IDF, Fax: +972-3-7376052

Protest faxes should also be sent to Israeli embassies abroad, and to the Minstry of Defence in Israel (see addresses below).

War Resisters' International also calls for letters of support to those in prison. Although often they don't reach the prisoner, they are a signal of international support to the prison authorities, and this has an impact.

Jonathan Ben-Artzi (Mil ID 7169436)
Dror Boimel (Mil ID 7282965)
Matan Kaminer (Mil ID 7176324)
Adam Maor (Mil ID 7246176)
Noam Bahat (Mil ID 7165951) - Isolation Ward
Yoni Kozlovski (Mil ID 5035744) - Reserves Company
Military Prison No 4
Military Postal Code 02507
IDF, Israel

Haggai Matar (Mil ID 7281989)
Hillel Goral (Mil ID 7269230) - Isolation Ward
Shimri Tzamaret (Mil ID 7305627)
1st Sgt. Lior Livneh - Reserves Ward
Military Prison No 6
Military Postal Code 01860
IDF, Israel

The developments in Israel make it even more important to join WRI's campaign to support Israeli conscientious objectors. Information on the campaign can be found at http://wri-irg.org/news/2003/icod03-en.htm.

Andreas Speck
War Resisters' International
ADDRESSES
Shaul Mofaz
Minister of Defence,
Ministry of Defence,
37 Kaplan st.,
Tel-Aviv 61909,
Israel.
e-mail: mailto:sar@mod.gov.il or mailto:pniot@mod.gov Fax: +972-3-696-27-57 / +972-3-691-69-40 / +972-3-691-79-15

Commander of Military Prison No. 4,
Military Postal Code 02507
IDF, Israel
Fax: +972-3-957-52-76

Commander of Military Prison No 6
Military Prison No 6
Military postal number 01860,
IDF, Israel.
Fax: +972-4-869-28-84

Addresses of Israeli embassies can be found at http://www.embassyworld.com/embassy/israel1.htm

Addresses of Israeli media:
Ma'ariv:
2 Karlibach st.
Tel-Aviv 67132
Israel
Fax: +972-3-561-06-14
e-mail: editor@maariv.co.il

Yedioth Aharonoth:
2 Moses st.
Tel-Aviv
Israel
Fax: +972-3-608-25-46

Ha'aretz (Hebrew):
21 Schocken st.
Tel-Aviv, 61001
Israel
Fax: +972-3-681-00-12

Ha'aretz (English edition):
21 Schocken st.
Tel-Aviv, 61001
Israel
Fax: +972-3-512-11-56
e-mail: letters@haaretz.co.il

Jerusalem Post:
POB 81
Jerusalem 91000
Israel
Fax: +972-2-538-95-27
e-mail: news@jpost.co.il or letters@jpost.co.il

Jerusalem Report:
Fax: +972-2-537-94-89

Radio (fax numbers):
Kol-Israel +972-2-531-33-15 and +972-3-694-47-09 Galei Tzahal +972-3-512-67-20

Television (fax numbers):
Channel 1 +972-2-530-15-36
Channel 2 +972-2-533-98-09