Israeli Military Discharges Transgender Conscientious Objector on Mental Health Grounds

Aiden Katri says release comes after mental health officer said she was ‘healthy,’ and shows army did not recognize her anti-occupation views.

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The Israel Defense Forces has discharged Aiden Katri, a transgender woman who refused to report for basic training on the grounds that she is a conscientious objector – on mental health grounds.

Katri, 19, was born male and has not undergone any kind of sex-change treatment or surgery.

Due to be inducted into a combat unit, she underwent legal proceedings in the army and was discharged Sunday after being incarcerated in Military Prison 6, in the wing for men; her request to be transferred to the women’s wing had been denied.

An army source said Katri was not discharged because she was a transgender individual, noting that there are dozens of transgender soldiers serving in the IDF.

“I feel like a woman and had conducted myself as a transgender woman even before I was drafted,” Katri wrote in a letter to the commander of her prison about a week and a half ago. She added that she understood that she was under incarceration as a punishment, “but being in a men’s facility constitutes additional punishment. I beg of you to transfer me to the women’s company.”

Read the full story in Haaretz