Palestinian Druze Refusenik Ajwad Zidan in Prison Again
14 December 2010

Loneliness of Prison Cell over Pointing a Gun at your People.

Ajwad Jamal Zidan, from the Palestinian village Beit Jann inside the state of Israel, has been sentenced to another 20 days of imprisonment in the Sarafand military prison, two days after he served his first two-weeks sentence in the Atlit military prison. Zidan, an 18 year old Palestinian Druze and citizen of the state of Israel, is refusing the obligatory military draft that is imposed by Israel on the Palestinian Druze citizens of the state, stating to al-Ittihad that the “loneliness of the prison cell is one thousand times better than standing in front of my people while pointing a gun at them, or imposing a curfew on them.” 

Immediately following his high school graduation earlier year, Zidan was called to the military recruitment center near his village for conscription. Zidan, who refused to wear the Israeli military uniform, was brought to military trial and sentenced to two weeks imprisonment. After their completion he was brought before the military court again, when he insisted to the military judge and prosecutor that he continues to refuse for “moral, national and human” principals. 

Zidan confirmed to al-Ittihad his high morale, stating that he will not “succumb to the oppressive and imposed military draft” no matter how long the military will keep forcing him into prison. High-school graduate Zidan added that “I am certainly aware that this is a difficult period for me, but it is one that will shape the rest of my life; by refusing the obligatory service I am protecting my belonging to my people and land for the rest of my life.” 

The Druze Initiative Committee, a progressive political body that promotes the refusal of the obligatory draft within the state of Israel, expressed its support for Ajwad Zidan’s firm position, stating that such a position is “the right one that a lot of young Arab Druze hold and are proud of, whose increasing number the Israeli authorities would not like to expose.” 

This article originally appeared in the al-Ittihad daily newspaper, Haifa. Translated to English by the Alternative Information Center (AIC).

Yesh Gvul adds:

Ajuad is due to be released on 30 December, and is likely to be imprisoned again afterwards.

Recommended Action

First of all, please circulate this message and the information contained in it as widely as possible, not only through e-mail, but also on websites, social networks, conventional media, by word of mouth, etc.

Other recommendations for action:

1. Sending Letters of Support

Please send Ajuad Zidan letters of support to

2. Letters to Authorities

It is recommended to send letters of protest on the objectors' behalf, preferably by fax, to:

Mr. Ehud Barak,
Minister of Defence,
Ministry of Defence,
Tel-Aviv 64743,
E-mail: or
Tel.: ++972-3-6975540 or ++972-3-6975423
Fax: ++972-3-6976711

Copies of your letters can also be sent to the commander of the military prison at:

Commander of Military Prison No. 4,
Military Prison No. 4,
Military postal number 02507, IDF
Fax: ++972-3-957-52-76

Another useful address for sending copies would be the Military Attorney General (note updated fax number):

Avichai Mandelblit,
Chief Military Attorney
Military postal code 9605, IDF
Fax: ++972-3-569-45-26

It would be especially useful to send your appeals to the Commander of the Induction Base in Tel-HaShomer. It is this officer that ultimately decides whether an objector is to be exempted from military service or sent to another round in prison, and it is the same officer who is ultimately in charge of the military Conscience Committee:

Gadi Agmon,
Commander of Induction Base,
Meitav, Tel-HaShomer
Military Postal Code 02718, IDF
Fax: ++972-3-737-60-52

For those of you who live outside Israel, it would be very effective to send protests to your local Israeli embassy. You can find the address of your local embassy on the web.

Here is a generic sample letter, which you can use in sending appeals to authorities on the prisoners' behalf. Feel free to modify this letter or write your own:

Dear Sir/Madam,

It has come to my attention that Ajuad Zidan from the town of Beit Jann, a conscientious objector to military service, has been repeatedly imprisoned for his refusal to become part of the Israeli army, and is held in Military Prison no. 4 near Tzrifin.

The imprisonment of conscientious objectors such as Ajuad Zidan is a violation of international law, of basic human rights and of plain morals. This is especially clear in cases, such as Zidan's, in which conscientious objectors are being sentenced more than once for their self-same decision to refuse enlistment.

I therefore call for the immediate and unconditional release from prison of Ajuad Zidan, without threat of further imprisonment in the future, and urge you and the system you are heading to respect the dignity and person of conscientious objectors, indeed of all persons, in the future.


3. Letters to media in Israel and in other countries

Writing op-ed pieces and letters to editors of media in Israel and other countries could also be quite useful in indirectly but powerfully pressuring the military authorities to let go of the objectors and in bringing their plight and their cause to public attention.

Here are some contact details for the main media outlets in Israel:

2 Karlibach st.
Tel-Aviv 67132
Fax: +972-3-561-06-14

Yedioth Aharonoth:
2 Moses st.
Fax: +972-3-608-25-46

Ha'aretz (Hebrew):
21 Schocken st.
Tel-Aviv, 61001
Fax: +972-3-681-00-12

Ha'aretz (English edition):
21 Schocken st.
Tel-Aviv, 61001
Fax: +972-3-512-11-56

Israel Hayom:
2 Hashlosha st.
The B1 Building

Jerusalem Post:
P.O. Box 81
Jerusalem 91000
Fax: +972-2-538-95-27
e-mail: or

Radio (fax numbers):

and +972-3-694-47-09
Galei Zahal

Television (fax numbers):
Channel 1

Channel 2

Channel 10



We will continue updating on further developments.

Thank you for your attention and action,

Sergeiy Sandler – New Profile.