Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu will speak to the nation today and, according to media citing sources close to the prime minister, could announce the suspension of judicial reform. The decision came after a night of strong protests across the country due to the dismissal of defense minister Yoav Gallant, guilty of having asked for the reform to be halted. Even President Herzog this morning asked the Prime Minister to stop the legislative process of the reform. Netanyahu’s speech was expected around 10:30 local time (9:30 in Italy), but the prime minister postponed it because he was busy in talks with the leaders of the right-wing coalition parties.
Israel, protests against the sacking of the defense minister
Itamar Ben Gvir, leader of the far-right Jewish Power party and national security minister, threatened Netanyahu that he will immediately bring down the government if the prime minister decides to stop the judicial reform. The media report it. Ben Gvir, the media added, said that the meaning of halting the reform would be “a surrender in the face of violence in the streets”. Without Ben Gvir’s party, Netanyahu would lose his majority in the Knesset.
Israel, protests in Jerusalem in front of Netanyahu’s residence
Israeli airport employees union leader Pinchas Idan announced the immediate halt of all take-offs from Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport. It is, he explained, a protest against the great judicial reform launched by the Netanyahu government and against the dismissal of defense minister Yoav Gallant. Shortly before, the leader of the union center Arnon Bar David had announced a general strike throughout the country if Netanyahu does not form that reform today.
The commercial port of Ashdod, in southern Israel, was also blocked by a surprise strike. In the morning a sudden strike was also proclaimed in the hospitals. The universities have announced the indefinite blocking of lessons because, they said “there can be no academic life where there is no more democracy”. Numerous shopping centers were also closed, and unrest among the employees of the ministry of justice.
According to media reports, a closure of bank branches is also possible, even if this requires special authorisation. Public transport was allowed to
continue to provide their services. This was also explained to allow demonstrators to reach Jerusalem to participate in a large demonstration in front of the parliament.
According to the media, an “ad hoc measure for Netanyahu given the ongoing trial for corruption” (ANSA)
After Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu’s dismissal of Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, the leaders of the anti-reform protests immediately called a demonstration in Tel Aviv in front of the Defense Ministry. Other demonstrators went to demonstrate in solidarity under the former minister’s house in Jerusalem, and protests were also held in Beersheva and Haifa.
Protest leaders have called a mass demonstration at 2pm (local time) in front of the Knesset in Jerusalem. “We will not allow any compromise – they argued – that damages the independence of the Supreme Court”. The same have asked that Minister Gallant be restored to responsibility for defence. Today the government convened a Commission which intends to modify the mechanism for appointing judges to the Court, ensuring that the political majority has primacy in the choice.
Opposition leader Yair Lapid attacked Netanyahu’s decision, arguing that “the prime minister can fire the minister, but he cannot dismiss the reality of the people of Israel who are resisting the madness of the majority.” The secretary general of the Histadrut, the powerful Labor union, Arnon Bar-David, has announced a press conference for today at which he may announce a general strike.
Continue the confrontation on the reform of the Justice. Even some ministers say they are against (ANSA)
“We are deeply concerned about ongoing developments in Israel, including the potential impact on military response capability raised by Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, who further underlines the urgent need for a compromise,” the Security Council spokesman said. US National John Kirby.