Skip to main content

More Druze risk prison to reject military service in Israel

A campaign launched years ago continues to have an impact as more Arab Druze in Israel are refusing to join the army despite the risk of imprisonment.
Read in 

RAMALLAH, West Bank — Kamal Zeidan is one of an apparently growing number of Druze youth in Israel rejecting forced service in the country's military. The 18-year-old served brief sentences twice in April for refusing conscription, and he fully expects to be summoned for a third court appearance soon. 

Zeidan is a member of the Druze ethno-religious minority in Beit Jann, a town in Galilee in northern Israel. When his first conscription notice arrived April 8, he headed to Tel Aviv a week later to give notice that he was refusing to enlist. He cited "national reasons," as he considers himself a Palestinian Arab. He was ordered to spend five days in Atlit military prison before being released April 19. When he refused a second time, the military court of the conscription office affiliated with the Israeli army in Tel Aviv then sentenced him April 28 to seven more days.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.