Israeli defense minister calls for suspension of judiciary overhaul

Israeli defense minister calls for suspension of judiciary overhaul

The Israeli defense minister Yoav Gallant called on Saturday night for his government to suspend its plan to overhaul the country's judiciary, arguing that the turmoil it has unleashed within Israeli society and the military has become a threat to Israel's national security.

The Israel Defense Forces are at the center of the rift in our society, according to a televised speech by Mr. Gallant. He said that this is a clear and immediate danger to the security of the state. The announcement by Mr. Gallant set the stage for what is expected to be one of the most dramatic weeks in Israeli history. The far-right governing coalition of prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which has a majority of just four seats, is expected to hold a final vote in Parliament early next week on the first step in its overhaul plan, which would give the government more control over appointments to the Supreme Court.

The proposal has resulted in weeks of mass protests, which continued on Saturday night, warnings of political violence and civil war, and unrest within the military, particularly among reservists. Thousands of reserve soldiers have said they would not report for volunteer duty if the overhaul goes ahead or have already withdrawn from service.