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Israeli reserve pilots cancel strike against judicial reforms, agree to hold discussions with commanders

An Israeli fighter jet during a graduation ceremony for pilots who have completed the IAF Flight Course, at the Hatzerim Air Base in the Negev desert, Jun. 24, 2021. (Photo: Ofer Zidon/Flash90)

Israeli reserve pilots who had threatened to boycott a scheduled training on Wednesday announced on Tuesday that they cancelled their decision.

The pilots – part of Israel's elite 69th Squadron – said the decision was made in an apparent compromise with their commanders, with the training now readjusted to focus on discussions regarding the judicial reforms.

“We are responding to the call of our commanders and will report to the unit tomorrow to hold discussions among the fighters. We have full confidence in the commanders and will continue to serve the Jewish and democratic State of Israel as long as it is necessary,” the group of 37 fighter pilots said in a statement.

The canceled strike comes after Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi held a meeting with “high-level reservist commanders” to deal with the boycott.

It is “unclear if Gallant and Halevi had fully turned the tide on the reservist strike threat on Wednesday, or merely bought time for a compromise,” reported The Jerusalem Post.

"Threats to refuse [IDF service] are playing with fire and we need to leave the IDF beyond any debate – protesting against the government cannot permit actions against the state," said Gallant.

Former Israeli Air Force Commander Eliezer Shkedy also weighed in on reservist strikes, condemning any threats to refuse military reserve duty, but agreed that “the legislation must be stopped at every point and a solution found."

“I personally think that, at the moment in time that we are at, it is forbidden to generate refusal of any kind. Refusal is forbidden because we must not play into the hands of the enemy,” Shkedy emphasized.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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