Ten Israeli soldiers choose jail over Gaza

12 / 01 / 2009 


Bethlehem – Ma’an – at least ten soldiers have opted for prison terms rather than going through with their deployment.

The refusals would be the first of their kind since Israel launched its massive air, sea and ground assault on the Gaza Strip,

On "conscience’s grounds," the soldiers refused orders to head to the Gaza Strip, they said.

Preferring a 14-day prison stint and rounding criticism from fellow soldiers and society at large, at least ten are awaiting trial for violations of orders. One said he simply could not go through with the deployment.

No'em Levna, a first lieutenant in Israel's army, refused to serve in Gaza, saying, "We killed 900 Palestinians in 17 days, including hundreds of children."

"If violence must be used, it should be used minimally, and that isn't what’s happening," he added. "Killing innocent civilians cannot be justified. Nothing justifies this kind of killing. It’s devilish."

"It is Israeli arrogance based on logic. It’s saying, 'if we hit more, everything will be okay,'" he said. "But the hatred and anger we are planting in Gaza will rebound on us."