Netanyahu sacks defence minister who opposed judicial overhaul

March 27, 2023 8:46 am

An aerial view shows Israelis protesting, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's nationalist coalition government presses on with its judicial overhaul, in Tel Aviv, Israel [Source: Reuters]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday dismissed Defence Minister Yoav Gallant a day after he broke ranks and urged the government to halt a highly-contested plan to overhaul the judicial system.

Gallant’s dismissal will likely fuel mass protests against the plan that have already rocked the nation for months. It came as Netanyahu was poised to ratify legislation that would tighten political control over judicial appointments.

That bill, and others that would limit Supreme Court powers to rule against government policy, have triggered warnings at home and abroad over Israel’s democratic health.

Article continues after advertisement

Gallant on Saturday became the most senior member of Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party to say he would not support the judicial overhaul, saying protests that have included growing numbers of military reservists were also affecting regular forces and undermining national security.

“At this time, for the sake of our country, I am willing to take any risk and pay any price,” Gallant said in his televised address.

The response came this morning.