IAF Sacks Highest-ranking Pilot to Sign Refusal Letter

Reserve IAF Brigadier General Yiftah Spector, the highest ranking of the 27 air force pilots who signed a letter declaring their refusal to fly missions in the territories on grounds of conscience, said Wednesday that he had been stripped of his position as an instructor in the air force flight training academy.

Spector spoke after a meeting Wednesday with IAF commander Major General Dan Halutz.

Immediately after the pilots' letter was made public last month, Halutz announced that airmen who had signed would be grounded, unless they recanted by the time Halutz held a personal meeting with them.

On Friday, Halutz dismissed two other pilots who had signed the letter. The two helicopter pilots were called in to meet with the IAF commander Friday and when they refused to recant the positions laid out in the letter, they were dismissed.