Atalya Ben-Abba went to prison rather than be conscripted into the Israeli army because of her refusal to take part in the occupation.
By +972 Magazine Staff
The Israeli army released conscientious objector Atalya Ben-Abba from mandatory military service on Tuesday after she spent 110 days in military prison for refusing to be drafted. Ben-Abba was released on grounds of unsuitability, after her request to be recognized as a conscientious objector was rejected a day earlier.
“The army can call the waiver [from mandatory conscription] whatever it wants, but the fact of the matter remains that it gave me a waiver as a result of my simple refusal to participate in a system that uses violent means to oppress another people, which has imposed an occupation upon it for 50 years, and is imposing a siege, the consequences of which are yet to be seen,” Ben-Abba said in a statement upon her release from military prison on Tuesday.
“I walk out of military prison with my head held high, alongside many supporters who, like me, understand that refusing to take part in the occupation is a necessary, moral choice,” her statement continued. “There have been other conscientious objectors who came before me and others will follow, part of a growing movement of youths who aren’t afraid to say ‘enough is enough’.”
Ben-Abba is being 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.
In March, the army recognized refusal to serve in the occupation as conscientious objection for the first time in 13 years, as it decided to release Tamar Ze’evi after she had spent a total of 118 days in prison.