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Israeli Soldiers Boycott Intel Duties

  • VOA News

Israeli soldiers unload their weapons near the border with the Gaza Strip August 20, 2014.

Israeli soldiers unload their weapons near the border with the Gaza Strip August 20, 2014.

Dozens of reserve soldiers from an elite Israeli intelligence squad have sent a letter to the nation's government saying they refuse to serve because of duties requiring them to eavesdrop on Palestinians.

The newspaper Yediot Ahronot published on Friday the letter from 43 soldiers to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the nation's military chief.

The soldiers — members of a group called Unit 8200 — said they feel eavesdropping prevents Palestinians from leading normal lives.

The soldiers also said they regard their refusal as a moral act.

The Israeli military has dismissed the letter as a publicity stunt by a "small fringe" of service members. The signatories' names were not published.

Soldiers on Unit 8200 sign non-disclosure agreements in order to perform their intelligence duties, which include monitoring enemy states as well as Palestinians.

Some information for this report comes from AP and Reuters.

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