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Israel Seeks AWOL Soldiers as Gaza Crisis Looms

The Israeli army is searching for nine soldiers who went AWOL in recent months, taking their weapons with them. Efforts to find them have been stepped up since another deserter, 19-year-old Eden Natan Zada, an Orthodox Jew, opened fire on a bus in northern Israel last week, killing four Israeli Arabs.

Natan-Zada was killed by an angry crowd that stormed the bus after the shooting. While Natan-Zada was an extreme example, many of Israel's Orthodox Jews are fervently against the government's plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip -- and some say they might cut off ties with the state.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Linda Gradstein
Linda Gradstein has been the Israel correspondent for NPR since 1990. She is a member of the team that received the Overseas Press Club award for her coverage of the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and the team that received Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism for her coverage of the Gulf War. Linda spent 1998-9 as a Knight Journalist Fellow at Stanford University.