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Israeli reserve pilots refuse training in protest over judicial reforms

Some 37 out of 40 Israeli reservist pilots have refused to participate in a planned training session scheduled for March 8 in protest against the government’s proposed judicial reforms that would limit the powers of the Supreme Court.

According to Israel’s Haaretz newspaper, the reserve pilots from Israel’s Air Force Squadron 69 announced their decision in a statement on Sunday.

The daily said Israel’s Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Herzl Halevi met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and expressed his concern about the growing threat of reservist walkouts over the judicial overhaul plans.

Protests against the proposed reforms have increased in recent weeks. 

Objecting to the proposal, Israel’s Attorney-General Gali Baharav Miara also expressed reservations on “separation of powers, independence of the judiciary and the protection of individual rights.”

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Israelis hold demonstrations every Saturday against the judicial regulation of the extreme right-wing coalition government led by Netanyahu.

Put forward by Justice Minister Yariv Levin, the reform plan, if enacted, would be the most radical change ever in the system of government in Israel.

The change would severely limit the powers of the Supreme Court to rule against the legislature and the executive, and give the government decisive powers to choose judges.

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