On December 29, 2017, numerous students expressed their refusal to join the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) in a letter to Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Military Chief Gadi Eisenkot, as reported last Thursday by Haaretz.
Among the 63 signatories is Matan Helman, a 20-year-old student who is currently serving jail time for his stance on joining the Israeli army.
"We refuse to be drafted and to serve in the army out of an obligation to values of peace, justice and equality, with the knowledge that there is another reality that we could create together," the students wrote.
"The army implements the policy of a racist government that violates basic human rights, which applies one law to Israelis and another to the Palestinians in the same area," the letter read, according to the Jerusalem Post.
"Therefore we decided not to take part in the occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people, which separates people into two hostile camps. Because as long as people live under occupation that denies them human rights and national rights we will not be able to achieve peace.
The ‘temporary’ situation has dragged on for 50 years, and we will not go on lending a hand," it added.
Among the key points of criticism were the 1949 armistice line between the West Bank and Israel. As per their letter, students believe they can neither take part in a "system of incitement" nor aide the government in the oppressing of Palestinians.
IDF has recently announced its intention to increase the number of recruiters for its combat service; the army currently enlists 7,000 soldiers annually.
The revolt is far from new
Two years ago, thousands of Israeli ultra-Orthodox Jews protested against recruitment to the army.
More recently, around 34 were arrested during an ultra-Orthodox riot outside the IDF recruitment office last November.