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Israel's next DM is wanted on war crimes charges against Palestinians

Israeli Officer General Yoav Gallant, chief of the south command, holds a press conference near the border with the Gaza Strip on 26 March 2010 [Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images]
Israeli Officer General Yoav Gallant, chief of the south command, holds a press conference near the border with the Gaza Strip on 26 March 2010 [Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images]

It has become almost certain that the new Israeli Minister of Defence will be retired General Yoav Gallant.

Gallant was elected to the Knesset in 2015, within the Kulanu Party led by former Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, but he defected from it and joined the Likud Party led by former and future Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the eve of the 2019 Israeli elections.

Galant, who was a minister in Netanyahu's second government in 2009, was a member of the Israeli cabinet for political and security affairs. He is a reserve general in the Israeli army, and previously served as commander of the southern region in the occupation army. He is wanted in several European countries on charges of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Galant, who has also served as Minister of Construction and Housing, had threatened to assassinate the head of the Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip, Yahya Sinwar, if the Al-Qassam Brigades and the resistance factions began a military escalation against the occupation army.

Speaking to Israel's the MediaLine website, Galant said that if Israel loses the Negev, it will also lose Tel Aviv and Jerusalem later, and accused the Palestinians in the territories occupied in 1948 of committing criminal acts on a national basis. He claimed that "those who wanted to throw the Jewish people in the sea by using violence and war failed to implement their plans, but a group of them did not abandon their dreams, principles and ideas, and some 'Israeli Arabs' do not surrender or recognise the State of Israel, and they certainly do not accept the idea of having one sovereignty over this land, only the Zionist sovereignty."

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