The Israel Defense Forces confirmed on Thursday that a senior naval reserve officer was suspended from duty after telling his commanding officers he would refuse to serve in protest against the government’s judicial reform initiative. The anarchist protesters have been calling on reservists to not go to their reserve duty.
The officer, who has a rank of Rear Admiral and serves as a combat manager in the Navy headquarters, was suspended by Vice Adm. David Sa’ar Salama following what the IDF called a “command conversation.”
The IDF added that the suspension was approved by IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Herzi Halevi, and that second reserve Rear Admiral is due to have a similar meeting with Salama.
The IDF statement stressed that both officers are over the mandatory age for reserve service, performed reserve service voluntarily and were promoted to Rear Admiral several years ago.
In recent weeks, thousands of reservists from the Army, Air Force and Naval branches have supposedly said they would refuse call-ups over the governing coalition’s judicial overhaul. However, there are no real figures available on how many reservists have actually refused to show up so far.
On Wednesday, senior IDF officials briefed the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee in a closed-door meeting. A Knesset spokesperson said the lawmakers were given “detailed report on the competence and readiness of the army in the face of existing and future needs.” The results were not made public.
Israel’s pool of active reservists who could be called up is estimated to be around 100,000.