The Israeli army discharged conscientious objector Adam Rafaelov last Tuesday, January 22, after having imprisoned him for a total of 104 days for refusing to be inducted into military service because of his opposition to the occupation. Rafaelov, 18, from Kiryat Motzkin, near Haifa in northern Israel, was sentenced to prison eight times since July of last year, when he was first refused induction. Last week the army said that it had discharged Rafaelov due to “poor and extreme behavior.”
Rafaelov was not a political activist prior to his imprisonment. There, he met conscientious objector Hillel Garmi — who was released from jail and exempted from military service last December after 107 days behind bars — who introduced Rafaelov to Mesarvot, a political network that provides support for conscientious objectors.
Upon his release on Tuesday, Rafaelov said he was glad he had followed his conscience and refused to take part in the occupation. “Although freedom has been denied me these past six months, Palestinians have been deprived of human rights for more than 50 years. My struggle for exemption from military service is over, but the struggle for freedom and equality for all people between the river and the sea continues.”