Israel: Third Conscientious Objector Imprisoned in Israeli Military Prison For Refusing Conscription
Atalya Ben Abba was Sentenced today for 20 Days - Joins Two Imprisoned Draft Refusers - Sentenced for 100 Days Each
(07.02.2017) Atalya Ben Abba, 19, from Jerusalem, was sentenced today for 20 days in army prison, for declaring her refusal to be part of the Israeli army and the occupation. Ben Abba is the third conscientious objector being imprisoned currently by the Israeli military. She joins refusers Tamar Alon and Tamar Ze’evi, imprisoned today for their refusal for the fifth time. They are accompanied by the Conscientious Objector network Mesarvot.
Tamar Alon was sentenced today to 26 days in the Israeli Army prison, and by the end of this imprisonment term she would have been imprisoned for a total of 101 days. Tamar Ze’evi was sentenced today to 23 days, reaching a total of 98 days in prison by the end of the current term. After this prison term, the three refusers are expected to be summoned to the induction base again, where they intend to adhere to their refusal. In all likelihood, they will continue to be sentenced to additional prison terms.
Atalya Ben Abba, 19, from Jerusalem, recently completed a service year with the HaShomer Hatza’ir youth movement, of which she has been a member since the fifth grade.
She writes of her refusal letter: “I care about the people living here, I care about society and my ability to make a difference and move it forwards, that is why I did a service year and that is why I am willing to pay a price and sit in prison, and that is why I will do civilian service – due to a sense of mission and duty.
“I grew up at Musrara neighborhood in Jerusalem, on the border between East and West Jerusalem. Growing up like that, one can’t help but see both sides, and it mainly gave me the important understanding that we are all just human beings. Growing up in Jerusalem, I am no stranger to fear, I have felt what it means not to take the bus because of an alert, what it is to hear gunfire and later read about a terror attack that took place across the road. This is why I know so deeply that we cannot let this situation continue.”
Mesarvot is a political objection network, connecting all refusers letters, initiatives, and groups from recent years for joint action. The network supports conscientious objectors who choose not to be conscripted in the Occupation Forces, with an awareness for the gender hierarchy in the Israeli army and society as a whole.
Press Contact: Guy Meyers, guymeyers8(at)gmail.com, +972-54-598-1081
Mesarvot: Press Release, February 7, 2017.