Israeli Female Conscientious Objector Sent to Military Jail for Third Time

Atalia Ben Abba, who prefers to do civilian national service, will serve 30 more days ‘for the sake of ending the oppression and violence’

Gili Cohen
Gili Cohen
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Conscientious objectors Tamar Alon (left) and Tamar Ze'evi.
Conscientious objectors Tamar Alon (left) and Tamar Ze'evi.Credit: Rami Ben Ari
Gili Cohen
Gili Cohen

Atalia Ben Abba was sentenced Wednesday to military prison for the third time for refusing to serve in the Israeli army she received 30 days on top of the 50 she has already served over two stints.

Ben Abba, a 19-year-old from Jerusalem, prefers to do civilian national service, according to the website Mesarvot that has been following her case.

On Facebook, Ben Abba wrote that she was afraid to return to prison. “It’s hard because every little thing that could give you strength is a thing that can be taken from you,” she wrote. “I’m afraid to go back because this time I’ll be alone, even if only physically.”

But she will return, she wrote, “because this battle is much bigger than me . This battle is for millions of people who live here for the sake of ending the organizational culture, the oppression and violence.”

Two other women who refused to serve in the army were recently released from prison. Tamar Ze’evi, from Jerusalem, was released after 115 days after her claim of conscientious objection was accepted.

Tamar Alon, from Tel Aviv, was released after 130 days at the recommendation of her boot-camp commander, Lt. Col. Yossi Matzliach. The conscientious-objection committee had rejected her claim but Matzliach made his decision based on the hard time Alon was having in prison.

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