From the moment of its creation 70 years ago, Israel - and its neighbours - have been at war. For Palestinians, the creation of Israel is known as Al Nakba, ‘the catastrophe’, the moment they were dispossessed of their land, and militarily occupied. After fighting many wars, Israelis believe they owe their existence to their military – the Israeli Defence Forces, or IDF.
It’s one of few countries in the world that still has compulsory national service for every 18-year old. But there is a growing number who are refusing to serve, citing the Israeli occupation in Gaza and violence towards Palestinians, as immoral. Rageh Omaar went to meet these conscientious objectors – mostly women – willing to go to prison rather than wear the country’s uniform.
Rageh's full report will be shown in this week's On Assignment, broadcast at 11.15pm on ITV on Monday 21st May