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Israel conscientious objector released after 82 days in solitary confinement

Soldiers and tanks belonging to the Israeli Army [file photo]
Soldiers and tanks belonging to the Israeli Army [File photo]

An Israeli conscientious objector has been released by the military after spending 82 days in solitary confinement, reported +972 Magazine.

Roman Levin was freed by the Israeli army last week, having been first jailed in February, “when he declared his refusal to continue his service after spending a year and a half as a driver in the army.”

According to +972 Magazine, Levin was sentenced four consecutive times during his time in the army, “spending most of his time behind bars in solitary confinement due to his refusal to wear a prison uniform”.

Levin’s refusal to continue service was due to his opposition to the military’s occupation policies towards the Palestinians. Military conscription is mandatory for most Jewish Israelis.

READ: Israel soldiers who fled instead of opening fire at Palestinians suspended 

Levin, who is from Bat Yam south of Tel Aviv, “immigrated to Israel with several members of his family from Ukraine when he was three years old”, said the report, and “initially believed his service would contribute to society and help him fulfil his duties as a citizen”.

Before he was jailed, Levin published a statement explaining his decision.

“When I was recruited, I thought the army serves the interests of Israeli citizens, but after serving in the territories I understood that the army’s actions don’t serve my interests or the interests of workers in Israel, especially after the continued murder of demonstrators at the Gaza fence.”

“The Jewish Nation-State Law strengthened that understanding to me. I came to the conclusion that you can’t hold both ends of the rope – to resist occupation, racism and the capitalist order, while serving in a military that preserves these things,” he added.

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