Date: 12 / 01 / 2009 Time: 21:30
Bethlehem – Ma’an – For the first time since Israel launched its massive air, sea and ground assault on the Gaza Strip, at least ten soldiers have opted for prison terms rather than going through with their deployment.
On "conscience’s grounds," the Israeli troops refused orders to head to the Gaza Strip, preferring a 14-day prison stint and rounding criticism from fellow soldiers and society at large.
At least ten are awaiting trial for violations of orders, saying they cannot go through with them.
No'em Levna, a first lieutenant in Israel's army, refused to serve in Gaza, saying, "We killed 900 Palestinians in 17 days, including hundreds of children."
"If violence must be used, it should be used minimally, and that isn't what’s happening," he added. "Killing innocent civilians cannot be justified. Nothing justifies this kind of killing. It’s devilish."
"It is Israeli arrogance based on logic. It’s saying, 'if we hit more, everything will be okay,'" he said. "But the hatred and anger we are planting in Gaza will rebound on us."