Prime Minister, Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu
Chief of General Staff, Benny Gantz
Military Intelligence Director, Major General Aviv Kochavi
Commander of Unit 8200,
We, veterans of Unit 8200, reserve soldiers both past and present, declare that we refuse to take part in actions against Palestinians and refuse to
continue serving as tools in deepening the military control over the Occupied Territories.
It is commonly thought that the service in military intelligence is free of moral dilemmas and solely contributes to the reduction of violence and harm
to innocent people. However, our military service has taught us that intelligence is an integral part of Israel’s military occupation over the
territories. The Palestinian population under military rule is completely exposed to espionage and surveillance by Israeli intelligence. While there
are severe limitations on the surveillance of Israeli citizens, the Palestinians are not afforded this protection. There’s no distinction
between Palestinians who are, and are not, involved in violence. Information that is collected and stored harms innocent people. It is used for political
persecution and to create divisions within Palestinian society by recruiting collaborators and driving parts of Palestinian society against itself. In
many cases, intelligence prevents defendants from receiving a fair trial in military courts, as the evidence against them is not revealed. Intelligence
allows for the continued control over millions of people through thorough and intrusive supervision and invasion of most areas of life. This does not
allow for people to lead normal lives, and fuels more violence further distancing us from the end of the conflict.
Millions of Palestinians have been living under Israeli military rule for over 47 years. This regime denies the basic rights and expropriates extensive tracts of land for Jewish settlements subject to separate and different legal systems, jurisdiction and law enforcement. This reality is not an inevitable result of the state’s efforts to protect itself but rather the result of choice. Settlement expansion has nothing to do with national security. The same goes for restrictions on construction and development, economic exploitation of the West Bank, collective punishment of inhabitants of the Gaza Strip, and the actual route of the separation barrier.
In light of all this, we have concluded that as individuals who served in Unit 8200, we must take responsibility for our part in this situation and it
is our moral duty to act. We cannot continue to serve this system in good conscience, denying the rights of millions of people. Therefore, those among
us who are reservists, refuse to take part in the state’s actions against Palestinians. We call for all soldiers serving in the Intelligence Corps, present and future, along with all the citizens of Israel, to speak out against these injustices and to take action to bring them to an end. We believe that Israel’s future depends on it.
Here is the original letter in Hebrew