Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant called Netanyahu to halt controversial plans for an overhaul of justice system
Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant has urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to stop the contentious plans to overhaul the justice system, as mass protests against the changes have continued for 12 weeks. Mr. Gallant warned that the crisis could result in social unrest and endanger Israel’s security. Nonetheless, Mr. Netanyahu has not heeded calls to abandon the reforms.
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has warned that plans for an overhaul of the country’s justice system pose a significant threat to national security. In a televised statement, he stated that the proposed reforms were a “clear, immediate and tangible danger”. He added that members of the Israeli Defense Forces were extremely unhappy with the situation, with an intensity of emotion that he had never seen before.
The law is part of the right-wing government’s contentious plan to limit the powers of the judiciary, which has led to months of protests.
It includes enabling parliament to overrule decisions made by the Supreme Court – a move that critics say will undermine the independence of the judiciary and could be used for political ends.
But Mr Netanyahu says the reforms are designed to stop the courts overreaching their powers and that they were voted for by the public at the last election.
Mr Gallant’s remarks were welcomed by opposition leader Yair Lapid, who praised the minister’s “brave step”.
But far-right police minister Itamar Ben-Gvir urged Mr Netanyahu to sack the defense minister, saying he had caved in to opposition pressure.
Separately, a new Incapacitation Law, which passed by 61 votes to 47 in the 120-seat Knesset on Thursday following a heated all-night debate, prevents a prime minister from being declared unfit to hold office by the attorney general.
It stipulates that only the prime minister or three-quarters of their cabinet can declare them unfit to hold office on physical or psychological grounds.
Mr Netanyahu is standing trial on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three cases. He denies any wrongdoing and says he is the victim of a “witch hunt”.