300 Israel reservists leave duty in protest against advancing judicial overhaul plans
Approximately 300 Israeli reservists serving in cyberwarfare units announced they will not be attending their volunteer reserve duties in protest of the Knesset's approval of the first reading of the reasonableness bill.
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It further warned that by passing this law, which prevents the Supreme Court from dealing with decisions made by elected officials, the government aims to undermine and dismantle the state of Israel.
Under Israel's unicameral system, wherein there is only one parliamentary chamber, no constitutional restraint on government policy will remain if the bill becomes law.
The Knesset said in a statement on Monday that 64 deputies voted in favour of the law, while 56 of the 120 Knesset members opposed it. However, the bill, which is part of the controversial "judicial reform" plan, must still be voted on in a second and third reading before it becomes law. It was not immediately determined when the next readings would take place.
"Cyber capabilities that are sensitive and have the potential to be misused must not be entrusted to a criminal government that undermines the foundations of democracy. Confidence in the government's ability to direct offensive cyber activity has been deeply fractured. This is a clear and immediate danger," the letter said.
"Therefore, we, the 300 signatories, are immediately withdrawing from our voluntary reserve service. We will not develop capabilities for a criminal regime, and we will not assist in training the future generation of cyber warfare soldiers," they added.
The letter came amid nationwide protests following the advancement of the controversial bill to overhaul Israel's judiciary.