Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called in the Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant on Thursday. Allegations he had urged a halt to a planned judicial overhaul that has generated unprecedented protests were made against him.
The reasons for summoning Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, a senior member of Netanyahu’s conservative Likud party, were not specified.
Former deputy commander of the armed forces Gallant was reportedly intending to conduct his own press conference, as reported by media. Senator Gallant’s office declined to comment, and it appeared that the proposal had been abandoned in preparation for Netanyahu’s speech.
Itamar Ben-Gvir, the minister of national security, claimed that Gallant had “separated himself from the rightist camp.” This shows difficulties inside the governing coalition.
Hundreds of Israelis resumed a months-long demonstration against a proposed reform that would restrict the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction.
We are fighting for our lives
Police trying to clear a roadway fired a water cannon and dragged some demonstrators away. An Israeli cabinet member was heckled by demonstrators who also unfurled a huge replica of the country’s Declaration of Independence on a wall in the Old City of Jerusalem.
“Now, we are practically fighting for our lives. In the state we’ve been building for the past 75 years, the Jewish people are battling for its very existence “said Avidan Friedman, who was wearing a Jewish prayer shawl on his head.
We are fighting because we feel that the current situation is driving us apart. We are urging the administration to stop. Dozens of demonstrators were reportedly detained for creating a public disturbance, as reported by the police.
Many are afraid that Netanyahu’s religious nationalists would attempt to erode democratic checks and balances by bringing the court under legislative authority.
Netanyahu, who is on trial for corruption charges he vehemently denies, has stated that his goal is to restore harmony.
Gallant has previously voiced fear that if the reforms move through, a substantial number of Israelis may refuse to report for military reserve service, which may diminish the country’s ability to fight a war and erode national unity.
News circulated that Gallant had called for a halt to the plans. Fears regarding the viability of Israel’s democracy have been fanned by judicial reform. Last week, high-ranking Finance Ministry officials raised alarm about a possible economic reaction.
Admiral Gallant, a retired Navy officer, has been criticized by former members of the elite frogman unit he led. Last month, some hundred of them urged him to vote against the reform in an open letter. On March 11, when he returned from a sailing excursion, they accosted him on a beach.
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