Activists say 50 Israelis refuse army service



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JERUSALEM (AP) — Activists say a group of some 50 Israeli youths have sent Israel's prime minister a petition refusing to enlist for compulsory military service to protest Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories, the largest such group of objectors since 2001.

Dafna Rothstein Landman, a petitioner, says the objectors are draft age or beginning the conscription process. She said the group was not affiliated with any organization.

Shimri Zameret of Yesh Gvul, a group that supports conscientious objectors, said about three objectors are currently in jail and some seven more are set to serve jail time this year.

The military had no immediate comment.

Military service is required for Jewish Israelis, but thousands get exemptions for religious and health reasons. Some are exempted for pacifism, but ideological objectors often face jail time.

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