IAF pilots protest against Sde Dov weekend closures

IAF reserve pilots who work for civilian airlines operating from Tel Aviv's Sde Dov airport announced Thursday they would refuse to report for their military flights, unless control tower services on Saturdays were resumed. The military control tower services at the airport, which also serve as an IAF base, were ordered to cease operation on Shabbat following protests from the chief military rabbi. However, there are no civilian facilities to supply alternative air traffic control. The pilots are mainly protesting the decrease in their salaries that would be the result of canceling weekend flights. IDF regulations prohibit violation of the Shabbat except for operational or life-saving purposes.