JERUSALEM, DEC. 31 -- More than 160 reserve soldiers and officers protested the "brutal suppression" of two weeks of Arab unrest in the occupied territories today and said they would refuse to serve in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
"We can no longer bear the burden of shared responsibility for this moral and political depravation," the reservists said in a petition signed by 28 officers and 133 soldiers. "We shall refuse to take part in suppressing the uprising and insurrection in the occupied territories."
The petition was circulated by a group called Yesh Gevul, which called the unrest in the territories a "revolt against Israeli occupation" in the "Palestinian struggle for national liberation."
Yesh Gevul, Hebrew for "there is a limit," was formed in 1982 by reservists who refused to serve in the war in Lebanon. National opposition to the invasion eventually led to the 1985 withdrawal from Lebanon.
The Army said it planned no immediate action against reservists who signed the petition because none had yet been called up for duty and no reservist had so far refused an assignment.
"We only deal with the issue once a person is in uniform," an Army official said. "People can say whatever they want out of uniform."