Israel army chief urges protesting military reservists to reconsider decision

Middle East Monitor  /  July 26, 2023

Israeli army Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, has urged thousands of reservists, who vowed to end their volunteer duty in protest of the government’s judicial overhaul plans, to “return to service”.

“The army needs those who made the difficult decision not to comply. Only together will we protect the home. We will train, we will make preparations, we will make things together. We will choose to withstand the challenges of this complex period. We have a great responsibility,” he said in a statement issued yesterday following internal estimates that the army’s readiness and efficiency will be damaged as a result of the rise in the number of reservists who refuse to comply with army’s calls.

He added that periods of “controversy and crisis” require the maintenance of a unified front.

“Yesterday witnessed the culmination of the controversy existing in Israeli society. In the midst of this tremor, the army is responsible to defend and protect the State of Israel and its citizens,” he said, adding that the Israeli army is “ready and willing” to deal with any challenge.

“We must work to bring together the reservists who are very dear to our hearts, and whose contribution to the security of the state is significant,” he stressed.