Today 13 Israeli reservists from the Israeli army’s top commando unit, “Sayeret Matkal” announced they would no longer serve in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, reflecting growing unease with Israel’s occupation of Palestine. The reservists, including three officers, made their announcement in a letter to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. “Sayeret Matkal” is the top commando unit in the Israeli army. In September, Israeli pilots wrote a similar letter, refusing to take part in air strikes on Palestinians living in the occupied territories. Several hundred Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the Palestinian territories and have been sentenced to prison terms.
Full text of the letter from the thirteen reservists
To: Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
We, citizens who serve in active reserve duty, soldiers and officers, Sayeret Matkal veterans, have also chosen to join the front guard in the way we have been trained. With grave concern for the future of Israel as a democratic Zionist and Jewish state, and with concern for her moral image ï¿½ we can no longer stand asside.
We tell you today:
We fear for the fate of the children of this land, exposed to an evil that is unnecessary, and to which we have lent our hands. We have long transgressed the limits of soldiers, just in their ways, and have become fighters suppressing another nation.
We shall not cross this limit anymore.
We stress and declare: We shall continue to protect the State of Israel and the security of its people from all enemies.
“He who dares ï¿½ wins.”