Sar Shalom Jerbi
Sar Shalom Jerbi Eliran Aharon

National Civic Service Authority Director General Sar Shalom Jerbi sent a letter to B'Tselem Executive Director Hagai El-Ad regarding the organization's call for IDF soldiers to refuse commands.

In his letter, Jerbi noted that "The B'Tselem organization is promoting a campaign calling on IDF soldiers to refuse commands relating to the Gaza border protests."

"Campaign advertisements were published on B'Tselem's Facebook page. You, the CEO, and the chairman, Mr. David Zonsheine, gave interviews to various media outlets and supported refusing orders. In addition, you announced that you would fund legal representation for the matter."

Jerbi also quoted Section 110 of the Punishments Law: "Whoever incites or persuades a person serving in the armed forces not to listen to a legal order, shall be incarcerated for a period of one year....if the crime was committed during a period in military activities by or against Israel are performed, shall be incarcerated for a period of seven years."

The letter continued, "The National Civic Service Authority is not the body responsible for law enforcement in Israel, but as a government body in charge of civic and national service, the Authority is obligated to investigate all complaints submitted to it regarding illegal activities performed by those authorized as National Service agencies, and to use its legal authority to cancel the authorization of agencies which do not abide by the legal rules."

"As you know, currently there are no [National Service] volunteers serving in your organization. Nevertheless, since new volunteers could join on the first day of any month, authorization is extremely important, even if there are currently no volunteers serving in an organization.

"Therefore, I invite you to a meeting in the Authority's offices, in order to hear what you have to say on the matter."

In the past, El-Ad has refused to define Hamas as a terrorist organization.

Previously, the National Civic Service Authority terminated B'Tselem's status as a body authorized to operate volunteers. However, they were later forced to cancel that termination, due to a decision by Deputy Attorney General Dina Zilber, who claimed the decision was not reasonable and suffered from procedural flaws.