43 Israeli Intelligence Soldiers Refuse to Serve


Dozens of reserve soldiers from an elite Israeli intelligence unit publicly declared that they refuse to operate in the Palestinian territories, citing moral reasons.

Soldiers from Unit 8200, Israel’s equivalent of the eavesdropping, code-breaking US National Security Agency, aired their grievances in the Yediot Ahronot daily after sending a letter to the military chief of staff and the prime minister, AP reported.

“We veterans of Unit 8200, reservists past and present, declare that we refuse to take part in activity against Palestinians and refuse to be tools to deepen the military control in the occupied territories,” the soldiers wrote.

The 43 soldiers, including some officers, allege that some of their unit’s intelligence work prevents Palestinians from leading “normal lives” and only serves to prolong the conflict.

“Information gathered on a Palestinian’s personal life or health issues can be used against him for intelligence purposes,” a soldier told Yediot anonymously.

A spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused to comment.