Israel: April 15, 2001

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The army is having increasing problems with reservists resisting call ups for security duty in Palestinian areas. Some 600 reservists have been jailed for refusing to serve and another 2500 are suspected of fabricating medical or personal excuses for avoiding service. After their three years of active duty, Israelis are still liable for 30 days active service until they are over 40 years old. The Israeli settlers, who are a radical minority in Israel, are the reason for most reservists serving in the violent Palestinian areas. Most Israelis do not agree with the idea of Israeli settlements in Palestinian areas and this is becoming a military as well as a political issue. There are some 400,000 Israelis liable for reserve service. Although only about one percent of the reservists are causing problems, this is a disturbing trend. The same thing happened during the unpopular war with Lebanon in 1982, with dissent in the ranks, particularly from reservists. This development helped bring an end to the Lebanon war and the same can be expected with the current situation.

 

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