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Israeli refusenik serves third term in jail 

October 31, 2021 at 3:46 pm

Israeli refuser Shahar Perets leaves jail after refusing to join the Israeli army three times [Screenshot/BBC]

Israeli refusenik Shahar Perets has served her third term in jail for not joining the Israeli military.

In an email sent out to supporters of refuser network Mesarvot between jail sentences, she said she just spent her 19th birthday behind bars.

Describing the conditions in prison, Perets said she was deprived of writing down her thoughts and experiences by prison guards, with access to a pen for sometimes only ten minutes per day.

She said: “The military does not want me to write, speak or share my thoughts. They are trying to silence me.”

“The silencing of political refusers is a small part of a more violent pattern of behaviour – The silencing of the Palestinian struggle for human rights in the West Bank and Gaza.”

In an interview with the BBC, it was revealed that her parents fully supported her decision to refuse.

“Some people call me a traitor or say I don’t care about my people, different names,” she told the BBC. 

READ: Israeli refusenik taunted as ‘Arab lover’ in jail

“I decided to refuse to join the army because I am not willing to take part in the oppression of millions of people who live in the West Bank and Gaza.”

She continued: “Most people don’t ask themselves before they get drafted do they want to join the army or not, and why they want to get drafted.”

“So this thing is really revolutionary at a certain level.”

Shahar first began her journey aged 12 when she attended a joint Israeli-Palestinian summer camp “Israeli-Palestinian Bereaved Families For Peace”.

She told The New Arab in an interview: “I realised that we don’t live in the same way. That [the Palestinians] don’t have the ability to move as they wish, to walk their streets feeling safe, or to go to sleep without the fear that a man with a weapon will be standing in front of their bed.”

“At the beginning I thought okay, it sucks that there is an occupation but maybe I could be one of the nicer soldiers,” later realising there was no such thing.