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Israel’s Ben-Gvir calls for sacking defense minister over call to halt judicial overhaul

March 26, 2023 at 12:15 pm

Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir speaks during a joint press conference with General Kobi Shabta (not seen) [Saeed Qaq – Anadolu Agency]

Far-right Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir on Saturday called for sacking Defense Minister Yoav Gallant for demanding a halt to judicial overhaul plans, Anadolu reports.

In a televised speech on Saturday night, Gallant called on the government to suspend its plans for judicial overhaul amid protests against the planned change.

“I call on the prime minister to fire Gallant, who came in with the votes of the right, but surrendered to the pressure of those who threatened to refuse [to serve in the military], and tries to put a stop to the important reform,” Ben-Gvir said in a statement.

In his speech, Gallant, a member of the right-wing Likud Party, called for dialogue between the government and opposition to reach a compromise on the judicial changes.

“The legislative process must be stopped,” the defense minister stressed. “We need a change in the judiciary, but major changes must be done with dialogue.”

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Israel has seen mass protests over the past two months against plans by the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for judicial overhaul, seen by the opposition as an attempt to reduce the powers of the judicial authority in favor of the executive authority.

The planned change would severely limit the power of the Supreme Court of Justice, give the government the power to choose judges, and end the appointment of legal advisers to ministries by the attorney general.

If enacted, the reform would be the most radical change ever in the system of government in Israel.

However, Netanyahu, who is on trial for corruption, insists that his judicial plan would enhance democracy and would restore balance between the legislative, executive, and judicial powers.

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