500 Israeli reserve pilots to suspend service over controversial judicial reform plan

500 Israeli reserve pilots to suspend service over controversial judicial reform plan

Around 100 reserve pilots and 160 officers at Air Force Command HQ have already suspended their voluntary service, says local media

By Abdelraouf Arnaout

JERUSALEM (AA) – In a further blow to the Israeli government’s controversial judicial overhaul plan, some 500 Israeli reserve pilots are preparing to announce the suspension of their voluntary service in protest, according to local media.

“A group of hundreds of reserve pilots, estimated at 500 pilots, intends to announce today or tomorrow, if there are no changes at the last minute, the termination of their enlistment in the Air Force, in protest against the continuation of legislation related to changes in the judicial system,” the Israeli Broadcasting Authority said on Friday.

It is expected that the group of pilots will take the decision together, said the report, adding that around 100 reserve pilots and some 160 officers at the Air Force Command headquarters have already suspended their voluntary service.

Israel has been in political turmoil in recent months over the planned judicial reform, which the opposition calls a power grab in favor of executive authority.

The Israeli opposition accuses Netanyahu, who is on trial on corruption charges, of using the judicial overhaul to protect himself from the courts.

Netanyahu has denied any link between the proposed changes and his own case.

*Writing by Mahmoud Barakat

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