After 98 days in prison, IDF releases conscientious objector

Noa Gur Golan, who refused to serve in the army due to her opposition to the occupation, is released due to what the IDF called her ‘serious misconduct.’ 

Israeli conscientious objector Noa Gur Golan. (Edo Ramon)
Israeli conscientious objector Noa Gur Golan. (Edo Ramon)

Israeli conscientious objector Noa Gur Golan was released from military prison Sunday after 98 days behind bars for refusing to serve in the occupation. She was granted an exemption for what the IDF termed “serious misconduct.”

Gur Golan, 19, from Netanya, refused to serve in the IDF due to her pacifist beliefs, and because she believes that she must actively work to reduce violence and bring about peace. She has previously stood before a conscientious objector committee, which rejected her request for exemption. Despite her pacifist ideology, Gur Golan, demanded to be recognized as a conscientious objector (whom are less easily granted exemption from the conscientious objector committee than pacifists).

Like other conscientious objectors, she was supported by Mesarvot — Refusing to Serve the Occupation, a grassroots network that brings together individuals and groups who refuse to enlist in the IDF in protest at the occupation.

“After 98 days in military jail, I am leaving with my head held high, proud of my ‘serious misconduct,'” said Gur Golan upon her release. “I am happy to be free and the possibility to continue working toward a just and equal society. I hope that future conscientious objectors, whether secular or ultra-Orthodox, won’t need to sit a single day in prison in order to prove their beliefs.”

Conscientious objectors Hadas Tal, 18, and Ofir Averbukh, 18, are currently both imprisoned for refusing to serve in the army. Tal has served a total of 60 days behind bars, while Averbukh has served a total of 150 days.