IDF Recruits to Barak: We Refuse to Evacuate Settlements

Jewish law forbids destruction of Jewish construction, 12th graders tell defense minister in letter.

About 200 Israeli teenagers soon to be drafted have sent a letter to Defense Minister Ehud Barak saying they would refuse to enforce any government orders to dismantle settlements in the West Bank.

The 12th graders told Barak in their letter that their paramount loyalty is to Jewish law. Jewish law forbids the destruction of Jewish construction, they wrote, even if if unauthorized by the government.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision to slow construction in the West Bank has provoked a great furor in the largely religious settler community.

Several influential rabbis have urged religious soldiers to violate orders to knock down unauthorized building.

Earlier this month, Barak ousted the Har Bracha Yeshiva from the hesder program, which combines army service with torah study.

The letter came as right-wing activists planned to call on settlers to cut their close ties with the Israel weighs easing Gaza siege to allow post-war repairsIsrael Defense Forces and urge soldiers to refuse orders, as part of their efforts to thwart a freeze on new construction in West Bank settlements.