Israel pilots plan to announce refusal to murder Authority leaders

Fred Feldman ffeldman at
Sat Sep 20 19:02:39 MDT 2003

Reserve pilots to refuse liquidations

By Lily Galili

A group of reserve pilots in the Israel Air Force is planning to
publicly announce their refusal to participate in attempts to
assassinate senior wanted men in the Palestinian Authority.

The group has been discussing the initiative for more than three
months and members say that they have been badly torn. According to
sources in the movement of soldiers who refuse to serve in the
territories, the group is in the process of collecting the last
signatures and is waiting for "the right moment" to issue its

The various refusal movements view the pilots' planned declaration as
a big boost for their cause, due to the special status enjoyed by
pilots in Israeli society, and hope that it will shake up Israelis in
a way that "ordinary" refusals have not. Though one pilot joined the
refusal movement at the start of the intifada, and though there were a
few incidents during the Lebanon War of pilots refusing to bomb
specific targets, a declaration by an organized group of pilots would
be something new.

The pilots initially considered joining one of the existing refusal
movements, such as Courage to Refuse - the group of soldiers and
officers who signed a declaration of refusal to serve in the
territories more than 18 months ago. However, they eventually decided
to form an independent group.

Since Courage to Refuse was founded, with 50 members, more than 500
soldiers have signed its letter of refusal. However, the group has
failed in its goal of provoking a public discourse over the continued
occupation of the territories and Israel Defense Forces actions there.
It is now hoping that the pilots' declaration

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