Reservists from elite IDF intelligence unit say they refuse to serve in West Bank

September 12, 2014 16:33

A right-wing NGO on Friday demanded that IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz forcibly discharge a group of reservist soldiers in an elite intelligence unit who declared their refusal to serve as a protest of Israel’s policies in the territories captured in the Six-Day War.

The controversy stems from a letter signed by 43 reservist soldiers and officers in the vaunted Unit 8200, an intelligence outfit that is responsible for collecting signal intelligence and has often been likened to the US National Security Agency.

In the letter, which was addressed to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Gantz, and the head of the IDF’s intelligence branch, Maj.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi, the soldiers decry “the main function of 8200 in the territories, which is to control another nation.”

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