Israel PM fires defence minister over criticism of judicial overhaul – Middle East Monitor

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired his Defense Minister Yoav Gallant today after the latter criticized proposed judicial reforms, Netanyahu’s office announced.

Agriculture Minister Avi Dichter, Israeli media said, is expected to replace Gallant, who remains a member of the Knesset.

Netanyahu said he lost confidence in Gallant after he “went behind the government’s back,” referring to his call to freeze the proposed judicial reform.

Times of Israel sources close to Netanyahu reported that he had decided to inform Gallant of the “weak and feeble response against the rejectionists in the IDF. [army]”

In a tweet, Netanyahu said: “We must all stand strong against rejection.”

Hebrew newspaper Maairiv it was reported that Netanyahu now has 48 hours to appoint a new defense minister.

Firing Gallant sparked protests across the country with an estimated 600,000 Israelis taking to the streets and blocking highways.

After being posted, Gallant tweeted: “The security of the State of Israel has always been and always will be my life’s mission.”

READ: Israel’s judicial overhaul is causing a split in Netanyahu’s Likud party

Netanyahu faced weeks of mass protests after his religious-nationalist coalition pursued changes to the judiciary that would give the government control over the selection of judges and limit the Supreme Court’s power to overturn laws.

The move is causing concern at home and abroad about the country’s democratic checks and balances.

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