IDF chief-of-staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi on Wednesday visited Tel Nof Air Force Base in the shadow of escalating threats by IDF reservists to quit if the government repeals the judicial reasonableness clause.
A statement and photos put out by the IDF said that Halevi was engaging in dialogue with the air force personnel as well as flying in a Sikorsky CH-53 Sea Stallion.
It also said he was observing a military drill by Unit 669.
161 Air Force control officer reservists halt service in protest
But Halevi's visit came the morning after 161 Air Force control officer reservists issued a letter declaring that they would no longer continue their reserve service in protest of the government's policies.
Initially, the IDF declined to respond.
But less than two hours after that, IDF Air Force Chief Maj. Gen. Tomer Bar did respond with a public letter to the air force and the general public saying, "this is a complex time period with lots of announcements tonight."
"I assume we will experience an intense period of media coverage this coming week," continued Bar.
He said, "We will clarify the exact details surrounding the letter and its implications. However, the responsibility which remains with us has not changed - to continue the command dialogue with our reservists and mandatory service officers," regarding the tensions which have engulfed Israeli society over the overhaul debate.
Bar added that the air force has kept Israel safe for 75 years and that the current security challenges are as dangerous as ever and require the air force to remain on its highest guard.
Some viewed the timing of the announcement of the large number of IDF air force reservists declaration that they would quit as a response to an attack earlier Tuesday on the reservists' call to quit their call-ups by Halevi.
Halevi himself attacked the movement after an increasing number of reservists had already publicized their intention or threat to quit.
Yisrael Beytenu Party leader Avigdor Liberman called on Halevi to quit in protest of what he said were the government's policies making the IDF impossible to maintain properly.