Country report and updates: Palestinian Autonomous Zones

Palestinian Autonomous Zones


1 Conscription

conscription does not exist

The Palestinian Autonomous Zones are not allowed to have any armed forces. There are several paramilitary forces.

In August 1997 the Palestinian parliament discussed a proposal by the PLC (Palestinian Legislative Council) for a national service law. According to the proposal all high school graduates, men and women, would be liable for community service. According to the PLC a national service law aimed to counter unemployment and offer vocational training and "to create unity amongst the people of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip". [1] [3]

Israel criticized the proposal as a violation of the peace process. The Israeli government stated that a national service law was a way of inducting young people into the army. [1]

No further details are known and it is not known whether a national service law is still in preparation.

2 Conscientious objection

There is no known legal provision for conscientious objection.

6 Annual statistics

The paramilitary forces are 35,000 strong. [2]


[1] 'National Service Law proposed', Jerusalem Times, 15 August 1997. [2] Institute for Strategic Studies 1997. Military Balance 1997/98. ISS, London. [3] 'Jeder männlicher und weibliche Jugendliche soll der Nation dienen', DW Monitor Dienst, 11 August 1997.

Articles related to conscientious objection

07 Apr 2014

Solidarity for Omar Saad in AthensSolidarity for Omar Saad in Athens

Action against the imprisonment of Omar Saad in front of the Greek Parliament at 'Syntagma' Square (Constitution Square) in Athens. 6th April 2014, by activists from Amnesty International in Greece.

21 Feb 2014

"In the year 1949 and after the establishment of the state of Israel, minorities were emancipated from serving in the Israeli army. In the year 1954, the security office attempted to recruit all the Arab citizens in the country, yet, the attempts failed by facing a strict refusal. In the year 1956, the Palestinian Druze youth were compulsorily recruited to serve in the Israeli army, and in the year 1958 the Circassian youth were compulsorily recruited". (The law of serving the security in the state of Israel).

This is how the Arab Druze youth were recruited in the Israeli army by the order of Israeli minister of security and under the name of "law". This proves the inaccuracy of the Israeli narrative that claims: "Druze approached the state requesting to serve in the army.

05 Aug 2010

According to several reports, Hamas is discussing to introduce conscription in Gaza later in 2010. reported on 29 July that Hamas, intent on expanding its military, is preparing to institute mandatory military service. According to the same report, officials said the Hamas government and military were discussing a conscription programme to significantly expand security forces in the Gaza Strip. They said that in the first stage military service would remain voluntary.

09 Sep 2009

Dialogues Against Militarism wants to share the stories and experiences of U.S. war resisters with those who are resisting militarism in Israel and Palestine. Our aim is to express direct solidarity with Israelis refusing military service and Palestinians resisting occupation, to learn from each other’s experiences in anti-militarist organizing, and to build relationships so that we can work together more effectively in the future.

21 Aug 2002

When one hears via foreign media of Israeli tanks rampaging in the streets of Palestinian cities (for some reason it's hardly ever on the news of the Israeli media), then we don't hear the whole truth.

Uri Ya'acobi
(Shortened version Ha'aretz, 18 August 2002)
(Full Text Ma'ariv, 22 August 2002)

Forum posts related to conscientious objection