Dozens of active-duty Israeli soldiers announced on Saturday they were joining the protest against the judicial reform by not reporting to training.
Until now, only reserve officers resorted to such measures.
The group, understood to consist of some 40 soldiers, made the announcement in a video featuring a statement regarding civic duty read out in a voiceover to somber music; the camera tracks across the soldiers’ uniformed legs, deliberately avoiding their faces. It was understood the group first gathered digitally on the Telegram platform.
On Friday, nearly 200 Israeli Air Force fighter pilots refused to continue serving as reservists in protest against the judicial reform being pushed through the legislature by the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Netanyahu on Friday demanded that the defense establishment act harshly against such actions.
“Surrendering to the refusals is a terrible danger for Israel. I demand from the defense establishment a strong stance against the refusals. The country cannot exist without the [Israeli army],” he said. “People who were responsible for the security of the country suddenly crossed all lines with such cynicism.”