Some 200 senior Israeli Air Force fighter pilots froze their active reserve duty on Friday in protest of the government's proposed judicial reform, N12 reported on Friday afternoon.
The group of senior pilots, some of whom "led covert Israeli operations," as per N12, said they made their decision following Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Thursday evening speech and will reconsider their decision in two weeks' time.
This reported strike by senior fighter pilots joins a previous strike carried out by 37 of the 40 fighter pilots stationed at the IAF's 69th fighter squadron earlier in March. The pilots eventually backed down from their protest after it was agreed that they would hold a dialogue regarding the judicial reform as part of training.
In another incident earlier this month, El Al pilots left the prime minister and his wife, Sara, high and dry after no one volunteered to fly Israel's first couple out to Rome for a state visit to Italy.
Gallant, IDF establishment demand halt to judicial reform legislation
It was reported on Thursday that Defense Minister Yoav Gallant intended to demand a halt to the judicial reform legislation due to its potential damage to the IDF.
In a meeting with Netanyahu, Gallant pressed the prime minister to pause the judicial reform to try to reach a compromise. However, Gallant eventually canceled the statement at Netanyahu's request.
Reports noted that the defense minister briefed Netanyahu on the internal division within the Israeli military caused by the proposed reform, arguing that that the tensions between the IDF and the government caused by the judicial reform controversy were becoming untenable.
8200 intelligence unit reservists sign petition calling to refuse to serve
Reservists from the elite 8200 intelligence unit also signed a petition on Friday vowing to refuse to volunteer for reserve service as long as the judicial reform legislation continues in the Knesset, Walla reported.
"The government's actions are a de-facto violation of the social contract between the state and its citizens, which binds [the government] to act for the common good within the framwork of democratic rules and laws," the petition, sent to Gallant, reads.
This is a developing story.