ISRAEL: Yoav Gallant, the Israeli defence minister, has called on Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister, to halt his divisive plans to reform the legal system. He intervened as Israelis opposed the changes and conducted nationwide protests for the twelfth consecutive week.
Gallant added his voice to the cautions that the crisis is creating social unrest and might jeopardise Israel’s security. However, Netanyahu has so far defied calls to halt the reform.
In a short televised statement, Gallant called the plan to change the way the courts work a “clear, immediate, and real threat to the security of the state.” He said that the Israeli Defence Forces were furious and dejected with a ferocity he had never seen before.
The law is part of the right-wing government’s controversial plan to limit the power of the courts. This plan has led to months of protests.
The decisions of the Supreme Court will be reviewed by parliament, which critics say will hurt the independence of the courts and could be used for political purposes.
But Netanyahu says that the changes are intended to stop courts from overreaching their authorities and that they were voted for by the populace at the most recent election.
A leader of the opposition, Yair Lapid, liked what Gallant said and praised him for taking a “brave step.”
However, Itamar Ben-Gvir, the far-right police minister, urged Prime Minister Netanyahu to dismiss the defence minister, stating that he had caved in to pressure from the opposition.
Separately, a new law that makes it illegal for the attorney general to say that a prime minister is not fit to be prime minister was passed by the 120-member Knesset on Thursday after a heated debate that lasted all night.
It says that only the prime minister or three-quarters of his or her cabinet can say that someone is too sick or crazy to hold office. Netanyahu is on trial for allegations of bribery, breach of trust, and fraud in three cases. He refutes any wrongdoing and claims he is the victim of a “witch hunt.”
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