The IDF recorded a total of 53 incidents of refusing orders
during the period leading up to the Disengagement and another
10 incidents during the Disengagement itself.
Fifty of the soldiers were enlisted men, eight were
commissioned officers and five were reservists. Five of the
refuseniks were officers, one ranking as high as colonel. The
commissioned officers were discharged, the combat soldiers
were placed in non-combat units and the 24 hesder
soldiers were required to do the full three years of
military duty rather than 14 months in the hesder
The Chief of Staff reported that all the incidents of
refusing orders have been handled and that most of the
soldiers involved spent 21-28 days in IDF jails. Some are
still awaiting trial in military courts. He said the number
of incidents was below the more dire predictions, saying he
attributes this to the harsh response and the officers'
efforts to control the phenomenon.
During a recent meeting of the Foreign Affairs and Security
Subcommittee on calls by hesder institutions to refuse
orders a great uproar broke out when Subcommittee Chairman MK
Dani Yatom (Labor) ejected MK Effie Eitam (HaTzionut HaDatit)
from the meeting room after he protested the demand to obtain
from the head of the IDF Personnel Division General Stern,
who was present at the meeting, information regarding remarks
made by rabbonim at hesder institutions calling on
student-soldiers to refuse orders. Earlier Stern said that
the IDF was demanding the resignation of two hesder
institution roshei yeshiva who called on soldiers to
refuse orders. Eitam claimed that the army is prohibited from
tracking private citizens and as such their remarks should
not have been reported to the committee.
At first Eitam refused to leave the room and Yatom was forced
to summon the Knesset Guard to have him removed. As Eitam was
escorted out MKs Aryeh Eldad (HaIchud HaLeumi) and Eli Yishai
(Shas) joined him as a sign of protest. Ten minutes later all
three returned to the room.