Defense minister slaps down protesters’ calls for reservists to refuse duty

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant says calls for senior officers to refuse to serve in the military’s reserves harm Israel’s security, amid protests by reservist soldiers over the government’s judicial overhaul plans.

Speaking to reservist troops in the West Bank today, Gallant says “any call for refusal harms Israel’s security.”

“No one is allowed to use the unit’s symbol, the IDF symbol, or the Israeli flag in order to justify one side. Under no circumstances are we to urge refusal, anywhere, in any sector, in any corps, and in any unit,” Gallant says in remarks provided by his office.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant speaks to troops of the reservist 363rd battalion at an army base in the West Bank, February 28, 2023. (Nicole Laskavi/Defense Ministry)

His remarks come after reservist troops of numerous units called for officers to refuse to volunteer over the government’s radical plans to overhaul the judicial system.

In a recent meeting with the IDF’s top brass, military chief Herzi Halevi says he is aware of the controversy over the overhaul plans, but will not allow it to affect the army’s “ability to carry out its missions.”

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