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Israeli air force suspends several senior reservists as anti-regime protests persist

Israeli air force pilots walk past F-16 fighters at the regime’s Ovda air force base, north of the city of Eilat, on October 24, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

Chief of Israeli regime's air force has suspended a number of senior military reserve forces amid persisting  protests against prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's far-right cabinet and its policies, including the so-called judicial overhaul plan.

Major General Tomer Bar agreed to suspend the service of several brigadier generals, without identifying them or revealing the number of sacked officers, Israeli media outlets reported. 

The report said the commanders of the Israeli air force can either return the high-ranking reservists to service later, or opt to replace them.

The latest development came a day after the Israeli navy suspended Rear Adm. Ofer Doron and Rear Adm. Eyal Segev.

The head of the Israeli navy, Vice Adm. David Sa’ar Salama suspended the two reservists after they declared plans to discontinue their volunteer reserve duties while insisting that they refused to serve in “a dictatorship.”

Doron and Segev both served as heads of operational headquarters and as deputies to Salama in emergencies.

More than 10,000 reservist soldiers, including members of the elite intelligence unit 8200 and air force pilots, have said they would no longer show up for duty on a voluntary basis in protest.

The chief of the Israeli air force has already warned that the state of the force’s readiness is “worsening” as dozens of reservist pilots have declared they would no longer show up for volunteer duty in protest against the policies of the incumbent far-right administration.

Public outrage against the regime’s radical policies has intensified since last month, when the Knesset passed the first bill of the judicial overhaul plan after opposition lawmakers left the session. The bill scrapped the “reasonableness” law, through which the supreme court can overturn decisions made by the Israeli cabinet such as ministerial appointments.

The remaining parts of the overhaul package will be discussed after the Knesset returns from summer recess in October.

Netanyahu, who is fighting corruption charges in court, has claimed that he would be willing to negotiate with the opposition, though previous mediation efforts -- including one by the regime’s president -- have failed.

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