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Israel army refuser spends Rosh Hashanah in military prison

Israeli Hilel Garmi, who refused military service, is spending Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) in prison [Twitter]
Israeli Hilel Garmi, who refused military service, is spending Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) in prison [Twitter]

An Israeli conscientious objector who is refusing military service “in protest of Israel’s policies in the occupied territories” has been spending Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) in prison, reported +972 Magazine.

Hilel Garmi was sentenced to another ten days in prison yesterday, his third detention “at the end of which he would have served 37 days in military prison”.

Garmi, 18, “was first imprisoned in late July, after military police forces arrived at his home to arrest him”, the report stated.

I know I will be proud of this decision for the rest of my life, knowing that in the moment of truth, I was loyal to my beliefs, and did the only thing that seems moral to me. The way I see it, I chose to be on the right side of history

said Garmi, upon his entry to prison.

In his declaration of refusal, Garmi said he was inspired by Ahmed Abu Artema, one of the lead organisers of the Great Return March protests in the occupied Gaza Strip.

“I know that almost every nation needs a military to protect it, but militaries cannot justify any mission with security considerations, and we need to determine red lines that if crossed, the military loses our support,” he said.

Read: Israeli army orders criminal probe into killing of two Palestinian teens in Gaza

“I think that after over 50 years of occupation, for me, the red lines have certainly been crossed,” he continued.

“Although the decision to refuse the draft was personal at first, over the past six months I have decided to make my refusal public. I decided to do so because I believe that civil disobedience can make a change and impact the sense of justice held by those with privilege between the Jordan River and the sea.”

He added: “Civil disobedience is usually used when the government has lost its legitimate source of authority, and I think that after 50 years of undemocratic rule, the government between the Jordan River and the sea has lost its legitimate authority.”

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