The Israeli Navy announced that it had sanctioned two senior officers for their refusal to serve on Thursday, August 17. This marks the first official announcement of sanctions against reservists opposed to the judicial reform pushed by the Netanyahu government.

Two senior officers in the Israeli navy have been sanctioned for refusing to serve in protest against Benjamin Netanyahu’s government’s controversial judicial reform, the Israeli army said in a statement on Thursday, August 17.

According to the statement, the two officers expressed their refusal to continue their service because of the disputed reform.

Until now, the Israeli army has been silent about the sanctions imposed on many of those who refused, even if they were dismissed or punished, notes the Israeli media outlet Jerusalem Post.

According to Haaretz, it was not clear whether the cause of this decision lay in the pressure exerted by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his allies to respond more firmly to the protest movement among reservists.

Nevertheless, its publication comes against a backdrop of tension between the Israeli General Staff and the ruling coalition, the latter being highly critical of the stances taken by military officials.

Due to its organizational structure, the Israeli army relies heavily on reservists. In recent weeks, a growing number of them have opposed Mr. Netanyahu’s judicial reform, threatening to withdraw from service.

In some branches, such as intelligence or the air force, the number of protesters is high enough to have an impact on the functioning of the institution.