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ISRAEL: Update on imprisonment of conscientious objectors

  • Israël

NOTE: The WRI office wishes to apologise for this late update on imprisonment of conscientious objectors in Israel. Some of the information is unfortunately already a bit outdated. This updated is being sent out to the list as there won’t be any update for the next two weeks.

Rabia Jihad Sa'ad (ISR12130) is - according to our information - still imprisoned in Military Prison No 4. He was sentenced on charges of absence without leave in mid-May - 4 months imprisonment. As he was arrested in mid-February, he should be released by mid-June.

Gilead Svirsky (ISR12132) is probably already out of prison. He was sentenced to 28 days in military prison no 6 for refusing to serve in the Occupied Territories in early May/late April. He already spent 28 days in prison in June 2002.

Jonathan Ben-Artzi (ISR12371) had a hearing in his court-martial on 28 May. We don't know the outcome yet, but we assume there will be another hearing.

Salman Salameh (ISR12602), a Druze conscientious objector, was arrested in early May. He is awaiting trial on charges of desertion. Salman Salameh was already imprisoned on charges of desertion in autumn 2002.

Hillel Goral (ISR12841) is still in Military Prison No 4, where he awaits trial on charges of desertion. Prior to this he had served three prison terms.

Shachar Ben-Haar (ISR12879) was imprisoned on 24 April for his third prison term of 28 days. We don't know whether he got a fourth prison term after his release.

Konstantin Soskin (ISR13190) was released after his second imprisonment on 25 April 2003. On 27 April, he was again sentenced to 28 days in prison, and released on 23 May. He was again imprisoned on 25 May, sentenced to another 28 days. Konstantin Soskin is a conscientious objector, and refuses to wear a uniform. He is therefore held in the isolation ward of of Military Prison No 4. In addition, he was punished with the deprivation of any phone calls for 15 days because he refused to say "Yes, Commander" to the wardens.

Shmoel Baron (ISR13413) is a special case. Although he is a pacifist, he enlisted in the IDF, and was sent to combat training. He refused, and has spent more than 120 days in prison since his enlistment, mostly in the isolation ward. Shmoel Baron was sent to the Unsuitability Committee, which decided not to exempt him. He therefore was tried afterwards and again sent to Military Prison No 6 - for another 28 days. It is not yet known if he was imprisoned again after his release.

War Resisters' International calls for letters of support to the imprisoned conscientious objectors:

Rabia Jihad Sa'ad, Mil ID 7232805
Hillel Goral, Mil ID 7269230
Konstantin Soskin, Isolation Ward
Military Prison No 4
Military Postal Code 02507
IDF, Israel

War Resisters' International calls for protest letters to the Israeli authorities, and Israeli embassies abroad. An email letter can be sent at .

War Resisters' International calls for the immediate release of all imprisoned conscientious objectors.

Andreas Speck
War Resisters' International

Shaul Mofaz
Minister of Defence,
Ministry of Defence,
37 Kaplan st.,
Tel-Aviv 61909,
e-mail: or 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

Addresses of Israeli media:
2 Karlibach st.
Tel-Aviv 67132
Fax: +972-3-561-06-14

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

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

Ha'aretz (English edition):
21 Schocken st.
Tel-Aviv, 61001
Fax: +972-3-512-11-56

Jerusalem Post:
P.O. Box 81
Jerusalem 91000
Fax: +972-2-538-95-27
e-mail: or

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