Trial of Refuseniks Resumes at Jaffa Military Court

The trial of five 18-year-olds, who in their senior year of high-school signed a letter refusing to serve in the Israel Defense Forces because they oppose the occupation, resumed Monday morning at the Jaffa military court.

The five - Hagai Matar, Matan Kaminer, Shimri Tsameret, Adam Maor and Noam Bahat - are requesting that they be allowed to partake in an alternate national service rather than serve in the military.

Testimonies will continue to be presented on Monday, after two of the refuseniks presented their moral, social, and conscientious positions, as well as how they reached the decision not to serve in the army, at a previous hearing.

The attorney representing the refuseniks, Dov Hanin, claimed three weeks ago that the right to refuse is protected by Basic Law on Human Dignity and Freedom.

Speaking ahead of the trial, parents of the five said on Sunday that, "Our sons placed the occupying authority on the on trial, and changed them from the prosecutor to the defendant."

In the last year, 21 young men were incarcerated because of refusal to join the IDF "because of the occupation and the operations being carried out in the territories." Around 200 reserve soldiers were also detained for similar reasons. Currently, five reservists and 14 refuseniks are serving prison sentences.