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      Wave of Disengagement Refusals Swelling Within IDF

      The wave of "Last Minute Refusals" is growing by the hour, with soldiers throughout the IDF stating they will not obey orders relating to the forced expulsion of Jews from Gaza and northern Samaria.
      By Ezra HaLevi
      First Publish: 8/15/2005, 10:16 PM / Last Update: 8/15/2005, 10:24 PM

      According to Rotter.net, five IDF battalion commanders have warned of mass refusal by soldiers in a document written to Defense Minister Sha'ul Mofaz and Chief of Staff Dan Halutz last week. The letter reportedly reveals a phenomenon called "last minute refusal." The five lieutenant colonels wrote that there is a possibility that up to half of all soldiers, including officers, assigned to Disengagement duties intend to disclose their objection to the expulsion of Jews from Gaza and Samaria on the day they are ordered to carry out the mission.

      The planned "surprise" refusals, according to the letter, have been made explicit in private conversations. The five officers warned the chief of staff and the defense minister that senior officers are ignoring the growing phenomenon.

      There has been a steep rise in refusals in recent days, and with Monday's delivery of eviction notices to residents, the trend continues to grow.

      Monday morning, fifteen soldiers in the Maintenance Corps refused to board a bus that was to take them from their base southward. The soldiers refused to take part in the uprooting of the Jewish communities of Gaza. Seven of the soldiers were sentenced in speedy field trials to 21 days in jail, while the remaining eight are still being questioned by military police.

      A female soldier from the Communications Corps refused to take part in operations related to the implementation of the Disengagement Plan and is now being tried for insubordination.

      A soldier from the elite Givati combat brigade was declared AWOL on Saturday and sentenced to 35 days in prison; he was also charged with having entered Gush Katif without a permit.

      Six soldiers of the Golani Brigade were declared AWOL by their commander. The six announced that they refused to take part in blocking the way of Jews making their way to Gush Katif, in the perimeter ring outside of the Gaza area. Other Golani soldiers have been reassigned to alternate missions in the Golan Heights, on Israel's northern border.

      Three other elite combat soldiers in Gush Katif told Arutz-7 that they had left their units to help prevent the expulsion of Jews from Gush Katif, but had not yet been declared AWOL due to the fact that they have not been absent long enough to qualify.

      A soldier in the air force left his unit and attempted to enter Gush Katif Tuesday. He was halted at a checkpoint and arrested. His commanders are expected to sentence him in coming days. Many soldiers in the air force have been assigned to Disengagement duties due to their high motivation to obey orders so that they don't lose their place in the elite air force courses for which they have been training.

      An officer cadet in the Egoz reconnaissance unit refused to take part in sealing off northern Samaria, a support role for the actual expulsion of the Samaria Jews. He was sentenced to 28 days in jail.

      Two IDF privates in the Paratrooper Brigade training course gave up their spots in the elite corps out of their desire to protest the uprooting of Jews from Gaza and northern Samaria. During a special roll-call announcement made to the trainees, during which the orders of the Chief of Staff regarding the implementation of the Disengagement Plan were read aloud, one soldier, a resident of Kfar Saba, shouted at the Company Commander his objection to the orders. Another soldier threw his weapon in frustration and said that he does not understand the army's behavior. The two soldiers are now to face a military trial and may be ejected from the elite paratroopers course.

      Another growing phenomenon involves those soldiers who are taking part in Disengagement duties, but purposely sabotaging them. One Gush Katif "infiltrator" told Arutz-7 that as crossed through fields and dirt roads heading toward Gush Katif, his group was spotted by two Golani brigade soldiers. He said both of them did nothing more than wave at them. Later, at the permanently closed Kisufim Crossing, the group was "accidentally" waved inside.

      Dozens of other such cases have been reported, accompanied by requests to refrain from publicizing details so as not to endanger the continued resistance of those soldiers and officers.