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Israel's Transgender Activist Asks To Go To Women's Prison

Thursday Mar 31, 2016

A transgender Israeli teenager, jailed for refusing to join the military as a conscientious objector, petitioned the army on Thursday to be moved to a women's prison.

Aiden Katri, 19, is the first Israeli transgender woman to be jailed for refusing to serve in the military.

Noa Levy, a lawyer from Mesarvot, a group that supports Israelis refusing to serve in the military on ideological grounds, said the request was made on Thursday.

Levy said that Katri was jailed earlier this week and that she could have gotten out of the army but wanted to actively refuse service to protest against Israeli rule in parts of the West Bank and its policies toward the Palestinians.

Levy said Katri wanted to protest "the occupation."

Ahead of her protest, Katri made a public farewell to her friends. Dressed in a black dress, red hat and wearing a beard she said she was showing solidarity with her "Palestinian sisters" and "with every woman experiencing oppression."

The Israeli military said she was "sentenced to seven days in military prison for refusing to draft as a conscientious objector." It said that "at no point did the individual alert the relevant IDF officials regarding gender identification during the draft process."

"The IDF sees the importance of providing a space in which all recruits - of all genders, religions and races - can serve and examines each case on an individual basis," the military said.

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