Thursday, November 27

First Prison Term for Yuval Oron-Ofir Who Refused to Serve in the Israeli Military

19 year old Yuval Oron-Ofir, was sentenced on 24 November to 14 days in military prison for his refusal to serve in the Israeli military.
Dear Friends,

val Oron-Ofir, a signatory of the 2008 high school seniors refusal letter, was sentenced on Monday, 24 Nov., to 14 days in military prison for his refusal to serve in the Israeli military.

Yuval is 19 years of age. He lives in the Arab-Jewish village of Neve shalom / Wahat al-Salaam. He has spent the past few years in high school, where he majored in History and Theatre, and after graduation volunteered for a year's civilian service, living in a commune in Yavne. As a volunteer he worked with Ethiopian youth and youth from other disempowered communities. In edition, he volunteered in a nursery for refugee and migrant workers' children in south Tel Aviv.

Yuval refuses to join the Israeli military as it is an occupying force. You can read the full text of his (very eloquent) declaration of refusal here. He is due out of prison on 5 Dec. His prison address is:

Yuval Oron-Ofir
ID number 201205580
Military Prison No. 6
Military Postal Code 01860, IDF
Fax: ++972-4-9540580

Since the prison authorities often block mail from reaching imprisoned objectors, we also recommend you to send your letters of support and encouragement to the imprisoned (and otherwise detained) objectors via e-mail to, and they will be printed out and delivered to them during visits.

In addition, you may want to follow some of our recommendations for action below.

Yuval is currently the only declared conscientious objector we know of, who is in prison, but not the only one sentenced. CO Mia Tamarin was sentenced on 10 Nov. to 21 days in prison. However, the military authorities never actually sent her to prison; initially they delayed the necessary bureaucratic procedures, then announced the women's prison is full, then formally changed her status to that of "confined to base" (although she was not even kept in the Induction Base de facto, but was rather ordered to report every morning and then sent back home). CO Raz Bar-David Varon has been sentenced to 7 days of confinement to base on 23 Nov. Finally, CO Omer Goldman has now been exempted from military service on medical grounds (and thus is in no further danger of imprisonment; thanks to everyone who have acted on her behalf).

All these actions seem to indicate that the military changed its policy, at least temporarily, and is now trying to avoid actually sending declared objectors (or at least the women among them) to prison, perhaps to avoid publicity. We'll see what happens next.

Recommended Action
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, conventional media, by word of mouth, etc.

Other recommendations for action:

1. Sending Letters of Support

Please send the imprisoned objectors letters of support (preferably postcards or by fax) to the prison addresses above.

2. Letters to Authorities

It is recommended to send letters of protest on the objectors' behalf, preferably by fax, to:

Mr. Ehud Barak,
Minister of Defence,
Ministry of Defence,
Tel-Aviv 64743,
E-mail: e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it il or e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it il
Tel.: ++972-3-6975540 or ++972-3-6975423
Fax: ++972-3-6976711

Copies of your letters can also be sent to the commander of the military prison at:

Commander of Military Prison No. 6,
Military Prison No. 6
Military Postal Code 01860, IDF
Fax: ++972-4-9540580

Another useful address for sending copies would be the Military Attorney General:

Avichai Mandelblit,
Chief Military Attorney
Military postal code 9605, IDF
Fax: ++972-3-569-43-70

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:

Gadi Agmon,
Commander of Induction Base,
Meitav, Tel-HaShomer
Military Postal Code 02718, IDF
Fax: ++972-3-737-60-52

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 sample letter, which you can use, or better adapt, in sending appeals to authorities on the prisoners' behalf:

Dear Sir/Madam,

It has come to my attention that [name & military ID], a conscientious objector, has been [sentenced / imprisoned] for [her / his] refusal to perform military service, and is held in [Military Prison no. 6 in Atlit / the Induction Base in Tel-HaShomer].

The imprisonment of conscientious objectors such as [name] is a violation of international law, of basic human rights and of plain morals, let alone when the same person is being repeatedly imprisoned for her self-same beliefs.

I therefore call for the immediate and unconditional release from prison of [name], 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 human beings, in the future.


We will appreciate receiving copies from the letters to the address:

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.
Tel-Aviv 67132
Fax: +972-3-561-06-14

Yedioth Aharonoth:
2 Moses st.
Fax: +972-3-608-25-46

Ha'aretz (Hebrew):
21 Schocken st.
Tel-Aviv, 61001
Fax: +972-3-681-00-12

Ha'aretz (English edition):
21 Schocken st.
Tel-Aviv, 61001
Fax: +972-3-512-11-56

Israel Hayom:
2 Hashlosha st.
The B1 Building

Jerusalem Post:
P.O. Box 81
Jerusalem 91000
Fax: +972-2-538-95-27
e-mail: e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it il or

Radio (fax numbers):
Kol-Israel +972-2-531-33-15

and +972-3-694-47-09

Galei Zahal +972-3-512-67-20

Television (fax numbers):
Channel 1 +972-2-530-15-36
Channel 2 +972-2-533-98-09
Channel 10 +972-3-733-16-66

We will continue updating on further developments.

Thank you for your attention and action,

Sergeiy Sandler – New Profile.


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