Over 40 Israeli Soldiers Refuse to Spy over Palestinians and Refuse Future...

Over 40 Israeli Soldiers Refuse to Spy over Palestinians and Refuse Future Military Service



Israel’s intelligence corps known as Unit 2800 has been hit by a major internal protest over the treatment of Palestinian civilians as more than 40 officers in the IDF military intelligence wing have signed a letter expressing their unwillingness to continue their service.

The letter was addressed to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, the IDF Chief and the head of the IDF’s intelligence wing and described the main function of Unit 8200 as the control of another nation. “We, veterans of Unit 8200, reserve soldiers both past and present, declare that we refuse to take part in actions against Palestinians and refuse to continue serving as tools in deepening the military control over the Occupied Territories,” the reservists wrote.

They said: “We are conscientiously incapable of continuing to serve this system.” The officers added that the intelligence that in gathered in the West Bank harms innocent people and is used for the purposes of political persecution and violation of the Palestinians privacy. They also revealed some of the strategies used such as gathering information about a person’s sexual preference and blackmailing the person afterwards into becoming a collaborator with the Israeli authorities. One soldier said: “Whether said individual is of a certain sexual orientation, cheating on his wife or in need of treatment in Israel or the West Bank – he is a target for blackmail.”

Another soldier said in a statement: “The notion of rights for Palestinians does not exist at all, not even as an idea to be disregarded.” He added that any Palestinian “may be targeted and may suffer from sanctions, such as the denial of permits, harassment, extortion, or even direct physical injury”. The reservists also accused Israel to prevent defendants from receiving a fair trial in courts as the evidence against them is not revealed.

Unit 8200 is the Israeli military unit responsible for signal-intelligence collection and code decryption. It uses sophisticated technology to monitor the lives of Palestinians and gathers information that is used afterwards by the military. It also carries out surveillance overseas. It is compared to the United States’ National Security Agency in its function.

On the other hand, the IDF rejected the claims made by the 43 officers who signed the letter and decided to discharge them. The IDF spokesperson said that the disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear as “there is no room for refusal in IDF.” The reservists’ refusal to serve is seen with utmost severity, he said.

The Moroccan Times.