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Update on imprisoned Israeli Soldier objectors

To the best of our knowledge, there are six objectors currently held in the military prisons of Israel. One of them, Ilan Windholtz, is serving his fourth prison term in a row (which requires especially massive pressure in his case).
Update on imprisoned Israeli Soldier objectors

Sam Bahour
 sbahour@palnet.com

Update on imprisoned Israeli objectors
7 July 2002

PLEASE CIRCULATE WIDELY

Dear friends,

To the best of our knowledge, there are six objectors currently held in the military prisons of Israel. One of them, Ilan Windholtz, is serving his fourth prison term in a row (which requires especially massive pressure in his case).

This update contains an important novelty: letter of support sent to the prison address of the objector do not always reach their destination. The prison authorities do not always bother to distribute mail to prisoners, especially if there is a lot of mail to distribute. The novelty is that from now on you can send mail to the prisoners not only through the prison, but also in more reliable ways. See full details in the

Recommended Action section below.
The rest of the update is divided, as usual, into three sections: information about objectors released from prison since the last update, information about imprisoned objectors and recommended action.

RELEASED PRISONERS

All the objectors whose cases we have reported in our last update were released from prison. Two of them (Ilan Windholtz and Victor Sabransky) were imprisoned again (for the fourth and third time in a row respectively - see further details below). Objectors Rabia` Jihad Saad, Denis Ruttenburgh and Daniel Weinbach are not in prison right now, but might be imprisoned in the near future.

A special case is that of David Sonnschein. As you might recall from the previous update, Sonnschein, one of the originators of the "Letter of the Combatants" and a key figure in Courage to Refuse, was sentenced in a disciplinary procedure to 35 days in prison for his refusal to serve in the Occupied Territories. Sonnschein appealed to the High Court of Justice asking to be brought before a full military tribunal.

The High Court of Justice announced that its final decision on the case will be given at a later date, but ordered that in the meanwhile Sonnschein should be released from prison.

Thus, David Sonnschein has been released, at least for the time being, before his original release date.

R. B. N., an objector who wished to remain anonymous, and whose case was not reporter in our last update, finished serving 14 days in prison for his refusal to serve in reserves in the Occupied Territories several days ago. Another objector, Amit Bar-Tzedek, was sentenced a few weeks ago to 21 days of confinement to base due to his refusal to serve in the Occupied Territories. Amit is an activist of the Yesh-Gvul movement.

He has already been imprisoned once for his refusal in early 2001. To the best of our knowledge, Amit's confinement term is over by now.

He can be reached by e-mail at mailto: amitbt@zahav.net.il.

PRISONER REPORTS

This section contains information about all declared objectors we know to be held in prison at the moment. The information on the objectors is sorted according to the date on which the objector was arrested, with the most recent cases placed first. As usual, thanks to Yesh-Gvul and to Courage to Refuse for providing much of
the information contained in this report.

1. Ilan Windholtz - 4th Imprisonment
Objector Ilan Windholtz, aged 18, was sentenced on July 2nd to 28 days in prison. This is his fourth consecutive prison term. In a brief statement he prepared for the occasion of his first imprisonment he wrote:

"I, Ilan Windholtz, hereby declare that I am unwilling to serve in any military unit, combatant or non-combatant, which fortifies our control over the Territories and/or the Palestinian people, and protects and strengthens the settlements and the occupation. I therefore request to be exempted from service in the Israeli army on grounds of conscience and ideology - an ideology opposed to the conceptions held by the Israel Defence Forces and the governments of the State of Israel since
1967. I am willing to bear the consequences of my stand, imprisonment included".

Ilan is due to be released from prison on July 27th. It is possible that he will be imprisoned again afterwards. His prison address is: Ilan Windholtz
Military ID 7265473
Company A
Military Prison 4
Military Postal code 02507, IDF
Israel
Letters to Ilan can also be sent by e-mail to mailto: kesherq@bezeqint.net.

2. Plato Malinowsky
Plato Malinowsky, a 30-year-old anthropology student from Jerusalem, was sentenced on July 1st to 28 days in prison for his refusal to perform reserves service in the Occupied Territories. He is due to be released on July 26th. His prison address is:
Plato Malinowsky
Officers' company
Military Prison 6
Military Postal code 01860, IDF
Israel

3. B. Z.
Objector B. Z. has requested that no details will be published regarding his case. He is currently held in Military Prison 6.

4. Gadi Sprukt
Gadi Sprukt, a philosophy student from Tel-Aviv, was sentenced on June 24th to 28 days in prison for his refusal to perform reserves service in the occupied territories. Gadi is due to be released on July 17th. His prison address is:
Gadi Sprukt
Military ID 5225917
Reserves company
Military Prison 6
Military Postal code 01860, IDF
Israel
Today (7 July) is Gadi's 25th birthday. He can be reached by calling the payphone in his prison ward. The number is ++972(0)4-954-20-
09.

5. Udy Orr
Udy Orr, a 29-year-old geography student from Jerusalem, was sentenced on June 24th to 28 days in prison for his refusal to perform reserves service in the occupied territories. Udy is due to be released on July 17th. His prison address is:
Lieut. Udy Orr
Military ID 5107996
Officers' company
Military Prison No. 6
Military postal code 01860, IDF
Israel

Letters to Udy can also be sent by e-mail to mailto: udyor@lycos.com.

6. Victor Sabransky - 3rd Imprisonment
Victor Sabransky, an 18-year-old draft resister from Haifa, was sentenced on 23 June to 28 days in prison. This is his third prison term in a row. In a letter to the Minister of Defence announcing his objection

Victor wrote:
"I was raised on democratic values... I believe in full equality among people... I am sure the main reason I have not yet declared refusal is the fear... and the social pressure applied... by the Israeli society to enlist in the State's military forces... I am not a soldier at all, I am still a boy and I was born into this world to live and not to die in the Territories for the misguided policy of the State and the Military..."

Victor should to be released from prison on 18 July.

His prison address is:

Victor Sabransky
Military ID 7312440
Military Prison 4
Military Postal code 02507, IDF
Israel
7. Guy Rosin
Guy Rosin, 37 years old, married and father of two daughters, was sentenced on June 16th to 28 days in Prison for refusing to serve in the occupied territories. Guy is supposed to be released on July 11th.

His Military Prison Address is:
Guy Rosin
Military ID 3777618
Reserves company
Military Prison No. 6
Military postal code 01860, IDF
Israel.

Letters to Guy can also be sent by e-mail to mailto: daphna_r@zahav.net.il.

RECOMMENDED ACTION

First of all, please circulate this message and the information contained in it as widely as possible, not only through e-mail, but also on websites, conventional media, by word of mouth, etc.

Please send the prisoners your messages of support to the addresses above.
Adi Leibovici, an activist of Courage to Refuse, has started an important new initiative. She opened a mailbox through which you can send letters of support to all imprisoned objectors. This way of sending letters is definitely more reliable than sending letters to the objector's prison address.

The prison authorities do not always pass the mail on to the prisoners (especially when they receive a lot of it). The letters sent to the new mailbox, on the other hand, will be given to the objectors by their family members on visits and in other similar ways. It is thus almost certain that they will reach their destination.

Another important advantage of this way of sending letters to objectors lies in the fact that you can now also send letters of support to prisoners who wished to remain anonymous.

Letters should be sent with the prisoner's name in the "To:" field, to: POB 16238
Tel-Aviv
Israel.

When possible, please send your letters of support to objectors to both addresses.
Letters sent to prison do not always reach their final destination, but they certainly apply pressure to the prison authorities, even if they are just piled up somewhere in the prison.

In addition, please send letters of protest on behalf of the objectors to:

Mr. Binyamin Ben-Eliezer,
Minister of Defence,
Ministry of Defence,
37 Kaplan St.,
Tel-Aviv 61909,
Israel.
E-mail: mailto: sar@mod.gov.il or mailto: pniot@mod.gov.il
Fax: ++972-3-696-27-57 / ++972-3-691-69-40 / ++972-3-691-79-15

Copies can be sent to the commanders of the prisons at:

Commander of Military Prison No. 6,
Military Prison No. 6,
Military postal number 01860,
IDF
Israel.
Fax: ++972-4-869-28-84
Commander of Military Prison No. 4,
Military Prison No. 4,
Military postal number 02507,
IDF
Israel.
Fax: ++972-3-957-52-76

Another useful address for sending copies would be the
Military Attorney General:
Brig. Gen. Menachem Finklestein
Chief Military Attorney
Military postal code 9605
IDF
Israel
Fax: ++972-3-569-43-70

In the cases of draft resisters (Victor Sabransky and Ilan Windholtz) it would be especially useful to send your appeals to the Commander of the Induction Base in Tel-Hashomer. It is this officer that ultimately decides whether a draft resister is to be exempted from military service or sent to another round in prison:
Commander of Induction Base, Tel-Hashomer Military Postal Code 02718, IDF
Israel.
Fax: ++972-3-737-60-52

Copies of appeals in the cases of Ilan Windholtz and Victor Sabransky can also be sent to:
Head of Incompatibles Unit
Induction Base (Baqum)
Tel-Hashomer
Fax: ++972-3-737-67-05.

Addresses of additional military and government officials, as well as those of some Israeli media, to which you can send copies of your appeals, can be found at this web address:

 http://www.newprofile.org/english/Summery_CO_01.html (see the bottom of the page).

Please be aware that writing to the media at this time is more important than ever.

A standard sample letter is available at the bottom of the same web page

 http://www.newprofile.org/english/Summery_CO_01.html#sample).

However it would be advisable to adjust your letter to the particular circumstances of the case.
In the cases of Victor Sabransky and Ilan Windholtz it is important to raise the legal argument that a person may not be sentenced more than once for the same offence.

Of course, many other things can be done. Any form of public support for objectors and public denouncing of war crimes is welcome, be it in the form of holding vigils, painting graffiti on walls or whatever comes to your minds.
Finally, Yesh-Gvul issued a call for groups to "adopt" objectors. For further information on this initiative, please contact mailto: peretz@yesh-gvul.org.

All the best and thanks,
Amir Givol and Sergeiy Sandler - New Profile.

True Peace for Palestine

Please also visit the following sites:

Palestine Campaign
 http://www.palestinecampaign.org/

Jews not Zionists
 http://www.jewsnotzionists.org/

The Allance for Democracy
 http://www.thealliancefordemocracy.org

Alternatives Indymedia
 http://www.alternatives.indymedia.org/

To the best of our knowledge, there are six objectors currently held in the military prisons of Israel. One of them, Ilan Windholtz, is serving his fourth prison term in a row (which requires especially massive pressure in his case).

Update on imprisoned Israeli Soldier objectors