Israeli Air Force Chief Tomer Bar threatened to fire reservist pilots refusing to join training or service amid a rift over controversial judicial overhaul plans, Israeli media reported on Monday.
Bar was quoted by Israeli Channel 12 as saying that reservist pilots not showing up for duty will be met with sanctions and possibly removed from operational activity.
Hundreds of Israeli reservist soldiers refused to present themselves for service or training as long as the government of Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, moved ahead with its judicial overhaul plans.
The Israeli Army relies on reservist soldiers during emergencies as they enhance the Israeli army’s capabilities in carrying out military operations.
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Israel has seen mass protests over the past three months against plans by Netanyahu’s government for judicial reform, seen by the opposition as an attempt to reduce the powers of the judicial authority in favor of the executive.
Netanyahu, however, insists that his judicial plans would enhance democracy and would restore the balance between the legislative, executive, and judicial powers.
Last week, Netanyahu, who is on trial for corruption, bowed to pressure and announced a temporary halt to the judicial overhaul plans.
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