An IDF soldier who recently completed his medical school degree through the Academic Reserves program refused to serve in the IDF and was sentenced to prison – for the sixth time.
The Academic Reserves is an IDF program that enables youngsters meant to join the army as soldiers to complete their academic degree prior to their military service. After graduating they join the military and usually serve in positions relevant to their chosen academic field.
The 28-year-old graduated from medical school through the IDF, yet when he completed his residency he sought to be discharged, citing "ideological reasons." He was sentenced at the IDF's Induction Base five times and sent to military prison time after time.
His lawyers claim that during his last trial the commander prepared a cell for him before he was even sentenced. Therefore they demand that the prison sentence be overturned.
Over the past two years, the soldier became an outspoken left-wing activist and took part in leftist demonstrations in the settlements. He also stressed his political views on his Facebook page, where he came out against "the violence shown by security forces against protestors." He also supported the call to "free Palestine."
He stands to be released from prison in 10 days.
The soldier's lawyers claimed that the soldier was not guilty of disobeying an order, as he had asked to meet with a placement officer.
The IDF Spokesman said that, "Without expanding on personal matters, this is an Atuda soldier who refused a number of times, to resume his military service. The soldier was tried in disciplinary proceedings and admitted that he was refusing to return to military service.
"On May 3, his defense attorney sought to examine the regularity of the disciplinary proceedings on his matter. The proceedings were examined by the military prosecution and found to be in order."
Military officials added that the matter of examining the prison facilities was not carried out by the disciplinary officer but rather by an officer with the rank of lieutenant who examined whether the prisoners can be received in the facility.
The disciplinary officer is an officer with the rank of lieutenant-colonel who was serving as on duty disciplinary officer at the recruitment base. He was unaware of the earlier check.
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