Loneliness of Prison
Cell over Pointing a Gun at your People.
Jamal Zidan, from the Palestinian village Beit Jann inside the state of
Israel, has been sentenced to another 20 days of imprisonment in the
Sarafand military prison, two days after he served his first two-weeks
sentence in the Atlit military prison. Zidan, an 18 year old Palestinian
Druze and citizen of the state of Israel, is refusing the obligatory
military draft that is imposed by Israel on the Palestinian Druze
citizens of the state, stating to al-Ittihad
that the “loneliness of the prison cell is one thousand times better
than standing in front of my people while pointing a gun at them, or
imposing a curfew on them.”
Immediately following his high school graduation earlier year, Zidan was
called to the military recruitment center near his village for
conscription. Zidan, who refused to wear the Israeli military uniform,
was brought to military trial and sentenced to two weeks imprisonment.
After their completion he was brought before the military court again,
when he insisted to the military judge and prosecutor that he continues
to refuse for “moral, national and human” principals.
confirmed to al-Ittihad his
high morale, stating that he will not “succumb to the oppressive and
imposed military draft” no matter how long the military will keep
forcing him into prison. High-school graduate Zidan added that “I am
certainly aware that this is a difficult period for me, but it is one
that will shape the rest of my life; by refusing the obligatory service
I am protecting my belonging to my people and land for the rest of my
Druze Initiative Committee, a progressive political body that promotes
the refusal of the obligatory draft within the state of Israel,
expressed its support for Ajwad Zidan’s firm position, stating that such
a position is “the right one that a lot of young Arab Druze hold and are
proud of, whose increasing number the Israeli authorities would not like
article originally appeared in the
al-Ittihad daily newspaper, Haifa.
Translated to English by the Alternative Information Center (AIC).
Yesh Gvul adds:
Ajuad is due to be released on 30 December, and is likely to be
imprisoned again afterwards.
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, social networks, conventional media, by word of mouth, etc.
Other recommendations for action:
1. Sending Letters of Support
Ajuad Zidan letters of support to
2. Letters to Authorities
It is recommended to send letters of
protest on the objectors' behalf,
preferably by fax, to:
Minister of Defence,
Ministry of Defence,
Tel.: ++972-3-6975540 or ++972-3-6975423
Copies of your letters can also be sent to the commander of the military
of Military Prison No. 4,
Military Prison No. 4,
Military postal number 02507, IDF
Another useful address for sending copies would be the Military Attorney
General (note updated fax number):
Chief Military Attorney
Military postal code 9605, IDF
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 an objector is to be exempted from military service or
sent to another round in prison, and it is the same officer who is
ultimately in charge of the military Conscience Committee:
Commander of Induction Base,
Military Postal Code 02718, IDF
For those of you who live outside Israel, it would be very effective to
send protests to your local Israeli embassy. You can find the address of
your local embassy
on the web.
Here is a generic sample letter,
which you can use in sending appeals to authorities on the
prisoners' behalf. Feel free to
modify this letter or write your own:
It has come to my attention that Ajuad Zidan from the town of Beit Jann,
a conscientious objector to military service, has been repeatedly
imprisoned for his refusal to become part of the Israeli army, and is
held in Military Prison no. 4 near Tzrifin.
The imprisonment of conscientious objectors such as Ajuad Zidan is a
violation of international law, of basic human rights and of plain
morals. This is especially clear in cases, such as Zidan's, in which
conscientious objectors are being sentenced more than once for their
self-same decision to refuse enlistment.
I therefore call for the immediate and unconditional release from prison
of Ajuad Zidan, without threat of further imprisonment in the future,
and urge you and the system you are heading to respect the dignity and
person of conscientious objectors, indeed of all persons, in the future.
3. Letters to media in Israel and in other countries
Writing op-ed pieces and letters to
editors of media in Israel and other countries could also be quite
useful in indirectly but powerfully pressuring the military authorities
to let go of the objectors and in bringing their plight and their cause
to public attention.
Here are some contact details for the main media outlets in Israel:
2 Karlibach st.
2 Moses st.
21 Schocken st.
Ha'aretz (English edition):
21 Schocken st.
2 Hashlosha st.
The B1 Building
P.O. Box 81
Radio (fax numbers):
Television (fax numbers):
We will continue updating on further developments.
Thank you for your attention and
Sandler – New Profile.