Essential supplies such as summer clothes and contact lens solution were being withheld from Yana Gorelik, her family said Sunday. The 30-year-old Israeli-Canadian was arrested for being an IDF deserter upon entering the country early last week.
The IDF spokesperson unit said it had received no complaints from the family and that Gorelik would meet with the officer in charge of her well-being while in prison and have the opportunity to request missing supplies and issue her complaints, Maariv reported.
Gorelik moved with her parents to Canada at age 17 and had visited Israel several times over the last two years without a problem. However, she was stopped on entry last week and asked to sort out her official release from the IDF, but was later “humiliated” by being handcuffed and sent to the Neve Tirza detention center in Ramle.
Gorelik said the authorities treated her like “a delinquent, and threw me in jail with other girls. They treated us like we were dogs. That’s it, I am finished with Israel. I don’t want to be a citizen anymore.”
In response, the IDF said that “Gorelik did not complete her exemption from military service in 2007 as requested by the IDF,” stating that the failure to do so was legally considered desertion. All children who were born in Israel and lived here until the age of 15 are required to serve in the military unless they receive an official exemption. Those who reside abroad can complete an exemption process in their local embassies.
The army said that she was incarcerated, served an indictment and judged like any other army deserter. Gorelik maintains that the Israeli consulates in both Canada and London had told her that because of her age as displayed on her new passport, she did not need to file an official exemption.