On 1 November, demonstrations in Israel showed solidarity with Israeli citizen Hallel Rabin, imprisoned for the third time, and for 25 days, for her continued refusal to serve in the Israeli army.
Rabin, 19, said: “For too long, the good people of Israel have agreed to participate in the atrocities committed by the occupation. While I know my refusal is small and personal... It is time to shout: There is no such thing as good repression, no such thing as justifiable racism and no more room for the Israeli occupation.”
She was refused exemption, three to two, by the five-person draft board as it seemed she was motivated not by universal pacifism but an objection to the specific role and practices of Israel’s army.
Rabin encouraged the demonstration to go ahead despite being threatened with harsher detention if it did so. Incremental rounds of detention, release, being ordered again to enlist, refusing again and so being returned to prison is a standard army method. This allows them to avoid public courts with a lawyer and witnesses for the defendant.
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Demolitions continued throughout pandemic
Data compiled by the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem shows that 741 Palestinians were made homeless by Israeli house demolitions in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem between January and September this year. This is despite an Israeli promise to freeze house demolitions, given health concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic.
The figure represents a four-year high for Palestinians made homeless. Amit Gilutz of B’Tselem said: “For Israeli authorities, a world pandemic is no reason to stop demolishing Palestinian homes. Both in the de facto and de jure annexed West Bank and East Jerusalem, Israel left hundreds of people with no shelter during this unprecedented global health and financial time of emergency.”