Publish date6 Mar 2023 - 9:32
Story Code : 586220

Israeli air force pilots join anti-Netanyahu protests

Israeli air force reserve pilots have joined protests against the judicial reforms by far-right cabinet of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announcing their rejection to participate in a forthcoming drill.
Israeli air force pilots join anti-Netanyahu protests
The announcement was made in a Sunday letter penned by 37 pilots and navigators from an F-15 squadron, saying they will skip training exercises scheduled for Wednesday in protest at Netanyahu's plan to "overhaul" the regime's judicial apparatus.

The decision has sent shock waves across the regime whose military ranks are supposed to stay away from politics. It is also important because the air force, which is considered Israel's strategic arm, is heavily reliant on reservists in time of war and requires crews who have been discharged to train regularly in order to maintain readiness.

A military spokesperson declined to comment on their letter, but said the regime's top general, Herzi Halevy, "is aware of the public discourse and division" caused by Netanyahu's proposed reforms.

Meanwhile, Israel's extremist finance minister, Bezalel Smotrich, accused "these irresponsible Israeli media" of "playing up any reservist who makes some kind of statement."

In a relevant development, the regime's N12 News reported that El Al Israel Airlines is having trouble finding a crew to fly Netanyahu on a state visit to Italy this week, because of a boycott by pilots over the so-called judicial reforms. Netanyahu's office did not respond to a request for comment.

Netanyahu returned to power as premier in late December, heading a cabinet of far-right and extremist parties. In order to gain their support, the premier has vowed to enact the reforms to curb the Supreme Court's influence in the regime's political undertakings.

His proposed changes seek to take away the Supreme Court's ability to override decisions that are made by the prime minister's extremist cabinet and the Knesset.

The so-called reforms have already received first-reading endorsement from the legislature.

Tens of thousands of people have been holding regular weekly rallies against the reforms, vowing not to leave the streets until Netanyahu jettisons the "overhaul."

The protest leaders, including some former military chiefs, say the far-right cabinet's plan would warrant mass disobedience within the Israeli military ranks.
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