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Israel army chief calls for stopping attacks on army troops

July 25, 2023 at 9:54 am

Herzi Halevi, Chief of General Staff of the Israeli army near Ben Gurion Airport in Lod on March 9, 2023 GIL COHEN-MAGEN/AFP via Getty Images]

Chief of Staff of Israeli Army Herzi Halevi yesterday called for stopping attacks on Israeli troops who protest against the government’s planned judicial overhaul, Hebrew media reported.

During a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Halevi said members of the coalition should stop “disparaging” pilots as they have been doing.

Halevi, according to Ynet news, cited an inciting video shared online depicting Air Force pilots abandoning troops on the ground who were under fire.

The video, which was shared by National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and Culture and Sports Minister Miki Zohar, caused outrage and prompted an outcry from families of dead Israeli soldiers.

The Jerusalem Post reported Halevi saying that political officials must cease to attack the defence establishment because such attacks undermine its readiness and cohesion.

Despite all of the current challenges, Halevi said, the Israeli army would do its utmost to maintain its readiness and cohesion in order to continue to defend the country.

For his part, Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said reservists threatening to end their voluntary duty in protest of the judicial overhaul were “acting irresponsibly.”

He added: “I tried to reach an agreement. Unfortunately, it did not work.”

Gallant commented on the readiness of the Israeli army, saying: “The IDF will carry out its missions… My goal is to maintain security and democracy.”

READ: Israeli Chief of staff warns split within army poses existential threat