The IDF said on Monday that it discharged seven Israeli reserve officers who refused their tzav shmoneh, the emergency draft in times in war, during May's Operation Guardian of the Walls in Gaza.
IDF and Defense Ministry's spokespersons previously denied reports that reserve officers refused orders during the operation in May.
The seven, all truck drivers, did not report for their reserves service and were marked as absentees. Their discharge from the military was disclosed during a Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee discussion on the matter.
The committee discussion, headed by Yesh Atid MK Ram Ben Barak, was initiated by opposition MKs Orit Struck, Moshe Arbel, Keren Barak and Meir Porush.
Despite the seven absentees, 98% of reserve officers called up during the Gaza operation reported for reserves duty, head of the IDF Technological and Logistics Directorate Brig.-Gen. Pini Ben Moyal noted in the committee discussion.
Amir Vadmani, head of the IDF Manpower Directorate's Planning and Research Department, alluded to the fact the seven might be of ethnic and religious minorities when he stated during the discussion that the IDF is "proud of the yearly increase in the conscription of minorities."
However, Vadmani added, over 20 cases of minorities refusing orders or abstentions were recorded during Operation Guardian of the Walls. He added that most of these cases were of soldiers during their initial basic training, meaning they have yet to form an emotional connection to the Israeli military, he explained.
"Most of these cases were of soldiers who were at home during the weekend and chose not to return due to peer pressure from those surrounding them," Vadmani stated.
"We decided to release only seven of all those who refused service," he said. "The only conclusion is that we need to trust the people we are drafting."