Thousands of Israeli reserve soldiers announce resignation in protest of government judicial reform

Thousands of Israeli reserve soldiers announce resignation in protest of government judicial reform

Israeli army’s chief requests meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss situation of reserve soldiers leaving their duties

By Enes Canli

TEL AVIV (AA) – Around 10,000 Israeli voluntary reserve soldiers announced on Saturday that they will leave their duties in protest of the government's legal reform that limits the judiciary's powers.

The group called "Brothers in Arms" issued a statement from voluntary reserve soldiers who opposed the controversial judicial reform, local media reported.

Chief of General Staff Herzi Halevi requested a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss the situation of reserve soldiers leaving their duties.

On January 5, Israel's Justice Minister Yariv Levin announced the "judicial reform" that includes changes such as limiting the Supreme Court's powers and giving the government a say in judicial appointments.

Netanyahu announced on March 27 that he was postponing the judicial reform, which had led to increasing mass protests and strikes nationwide, but he also stated that they would bring the judicial reform back on the agenda after the approval of the 2023-2024 budget in late May.

Following a stalemate in negotiations with the opposition, the government has recently restarted the process of judicial reform.

As part of the judicial reform, the government announced that the bill to abolish the Supreme Court's oversight of the government would be brought to the Knesset (parliament) for a second and third vote on July 24.

Thousands of Israelis, including war pilots, submarine officers, and other elite units, who opposed the "judicial reform," decided to resign from voluntary reserve service.

Israeli media reported that Defense Minister Yoav Gallant was working to postpone the bill to abolish the Supreme Court's oversight of the government in response to the reactions from reserve soldiers.

Numerous prominent figures in Israeli politics, the military, security, economy, and the judiciary have publicly expressed their opposition to the government's judicial reform.

The protest movement against Netanyahu's government's judicial reform has been ongoing for about seven months with continuous demonstrations.

*Writing by EsraTekin in Istanbul

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