The Five: Free from the Army!
By the Refusers Parents' Forum, 23 September 2004

Dear supporter

The Refuseniks Parents' Forum is pleased to announce that the five draft resisters, Haggai Matar, Noam Bahat, Adam Maor, Shimri Zameret and Matan Kaminer have been officially informed that they are hereby released from the ranks of the army.

The release from the Israeli army comes after an epoch-making court battle and after the five young men have spent close to two years in confinement. The campaign against the imprisonment of the five, for having resisted mobilization to the Israeli army, as long as it is an army of occupation, has received wide international attention and evoked strong expressions of solidarity the world over.

The release of the five will be marked in a mass public reception this Thursday, September 23 in Tel Aviv. Expressions of solidarity are pouring in from public figures in Israel and all over the world.

This is a victory for all women and men of good conscience who refuse to participate in oppression and occupation. The calm bravery of these five young men reminds us that we all have the right to refuse to be part of the occupation and suggests that we might well consider that this right is really a duty.

We take this occasion to express our deepest heartfelt thanks for the many, many thousands of expression of moral, political and financial solidarity. We owe a special expression of gratitude to the attorney for the five, Dr Dov Khenin.

We see this battle as an important chapter in the fight for an Israel living in peace and equality with our Palestinian neighbors and friends, the Palestinian people. Israel will either overcome the occupation or be destroyed by it.

With much thanks for all your support over the last two years,

The Refusers Parents' Forum