Israel: Netanyahu fires Defense Minister Galant

Netanyahu fires Defense Minister Galant

Yoav Gallant is no longer Israeli Defense Minister. photo

© Maya Alleruzzo/AP/dpa

The right-wing religious government in Israel wants to disempower its judiciary. Defense Minister Galant criticizes the planned reform – and is fired by Netanyahu.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired Defense Minister Joav Galant after he called for the controversial judicial reform to be halted. This was announced by a spokesman for Netanyahu’s right-wing conservative Likud party.

There have been protests for months against the reform, which is intended to curtail the influence of the Supreme Court. The plans of the right-wing religious government have also triggered considerable criticism internationally.

The previous defense minister had surprisingly called on his own government to stop the reform and to engage in dialogue with critics. Galant warned that otherwise national security could be severely damaged. He pointed out that numerous reservists did not show up for duty in protest against the reform. Netanyahu’s coalition wants to implement core elements of the reform in the next few days.

Voting possible on Monday

The vote on a law that should give government politicians more influence in the appointment of judges could take place as early as this Monday. It is still unclear how critics within the government will vote. The coalition only has a majority of four seats in parliament.

The government accuses the Supreme Court of excessive interference in political decisions. In the future, Parliament should be able to overrule decisions of the Supreme Court with a simple majority. Critics see the separation of powers in danger and warn of a state crisis.


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