Army to Release Longest-Jailed Women Occupation Objector

Israel’s female conscientious objector to have served the longest period of jail time, Tair Kaminer, was granted exemption from military service on Thursday, July 14, after spending nearly 150 days in an IDF prison. On Thursday morning a military committee found that Kaminer, 19, was “not fit for military service” due to her “poor and severe behavior” — namely the fact that she refuses to serve in the army due to her opposition to its policies in the occupied territories. Kaminer will be released no later than the conclusion of her present sentence, in another two weeks. According to the Communist Party of Israel, “the release of Tair is a huge victory for occupation objectors and all her colleagues, a tremendous victory for peace and an end to the occupation.”

A demonstration in solidarity with Tair Kaminer near Military Prison 6 at Atlit, February 2016

A demonstration in solidarity with Tair Kaminer near Military Prison 6 at Atlit, February 2016 (Photo: Mesarvot Network)

Speaking with her family from prison Kaminer said: “This announcement, which comes after a struggle of over seven months, is exciting personally and may be seen as a small victory reinstating me as a free person. But the larger struggle is not over my incarceration, but over the oppression of the Palestinian people so that the two nations living here may live in freedom, equality, security and peace.”

A month ago, Kaminer was sentenced to an additional 45 days in military prison for her refusal to be conscripted into the army. This was her sixth stint in jail which, if she is released only at its end, will mean that she will have served as many as 170 days in military prison, the highest total for any female conscientious objector. ​New efforts are currently being made to release Omri Baranes, who is presently on medical leave.​ Meanwhile, Kai Hen, a conscientious objector from Mitzpe Ramon, in the Negev, who spent 30 days in prison, was released from prison earlier this week.

Related: Posts on Tair Kaminer