A group of elite, secretive, intelligence unit military veterans, denouncing the treatment of Palestinians by Israel declared they would no longer participate in the actions by the state against Palestinians in reserve duty that is required, because of what they called their moral duty to act.
A letter that was sent on Thursday to the group’s commanders and to the prime minister and head of the army in Israel, 43 veterans from Unit 8200 a clandestine group, complained that Israel had made no distinction amongst Palestinians not involved in any violence, and that information gathered harmed innocent people.
They wrote that intelligence was used to carry out political persecution, which disallows people to carry out a normal life and fuels additional violence, which further lengthens the time when an end of the conflict could be reached.
The letter was revealed in an Israeli newspaper on Friday and in one in England.
It echoes the protests that have been similar from reservists in the past, including a 27-member group of pilots who would not take part in “targeted assassinations and 13 members of a commando unit called Sayeret Matkal.
However, this is the first collective refusal publicly by intelligence officers instead of combat troops.
One sergeant major said that following our service it became more evident of a nondemocratic oppression that controlled the lives of millions of Palestinians.
He was on active duty between 2001 and 2005, and spoke without using his name since Unite 8,200 members are prohibited from being identified in public.
He called certain things the group does to be immoral and against certain things that we believe and therefore we will not carry out those things any longer.
The time of the letter is powerful coming following the complaints of many long time critics of Israel over its occupation that they had their voices stifled during a rally that was unified around the effort of the war.