If the phenomenon of Israel Defense Forces reservists refusing to serve grows, the military’s operational capabilities will be impaired within a month, members of the General Staff warn, Army Radio reported on Tuesday.
The generals said that the problem would be particularly acute in the air force, which relies heavily on reservists.
They also said that if judicial reform legislation continues to be pushed forward in the Knesset, it would likely exacerbate the problem of refusal. At the moment refusals have not impacted IDF’s operations, they said.
Hundreds of reservists in various elite units announced on Sunday that they would not be reporting for duty in protest of the government’s judicial reform program.
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, addressing a General Staff meeting on Tuesday, said, “The call for refusal is dangerous and a widespread phenomenon that could harm the IDF’s ability to carry out its tasks.
“Together with the chief of staff, the members of the General Staff and with you, the commanders, I am working to keep the IDF above any political debate and to denounce any phenomenon of refusal. The IDF belongs to all of us, and we must protect it at all costs,” he added.
Gallant warned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the danger of the refusal phenomenon following an air force squadron declaring earlier this month its refusal to attend training.
Following those conversations, Netanyahu told other ministers that he believes it is highly probable that if there is no compromise, Gallant will resign, Channel 12 reported.
However, the Likud Party, of which both men are members, said, “The report regarding Minister Gallant is not true.”
On March 9, Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi told a meeting of dozens of reserve commanders and other officers, “Certain cracks can form that will be irreparable in the future. Refusal is a ‘red line,’ it should not be in the military protocol. It is unacceptable to discuss refusal, it is unacceptable to act on refusal.”