Netanyahu ally Yoav Gallant launches explosive plan to overhaul justice system

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said on Saturday that the attempt to overhaul and weaken the justice system posed a threat to national security – the first major crack in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition government.

“The growing division seeps into military and defense institutions. This is a clear, immediate and real danger to Israel’s security,” Gallant said in a televised address.

“For the sake of Israel’s security, for the sake of our sons and daughters, the legislative process must be stopped at this time.”

The plan to overhaul the judiciary has sparked a national crisis in Israel. On Saturday evening, tens of thousands of Israelis took to the streets in protest. Some opponents of the plan have said they would refuse to be called up for military service if the government goes ahead.

Gallant’s call to stop the movement – which has won public support from two other Likud party members, according to Reuters – comes days before a landslide vote on a bill to give the government more control over appointments judicial.

Netanyahu – who is on trial for corruption and is spending the weekend in London – had no immediate public reaction when Gallant broke ranks. But Police Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir said the prime minister should fire him.

Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi apologized to right-wing Israelis “for our defense minister giving in to pressure from the left.” Jerusalem Post reported.

“We will not nullify the people’s vote to satisfy the elite and the media.”

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