As soon as the dismissal decision was announced, protesters in Tel Aviv took to the streets to protest, while Israeli opposition leaders in parliament said that Netanyahu had “crossed a red line” tonight.
In the latest developments in the crisis, Israel’s Consul General in New York City announced his resignation, saying he could not serve Netanyahu’s government, which faces accusations of undermining democracy.
In footage broadcast by Reuters Television, huge crowds appeared blocking the main highway in Tel Aviv, as well as a group of demonstrators setting a fire in the middle of it.
Meanwhile, Israeli media reported that the demonstrators breached the security barriers in the vicinity of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s house.
Sources in the White House commented, “We are very concerned about what is happening in Israel and its repercussions on the readiness of the Israeli army.”
What did Gallant say?
- On Saturday, the sacked defense minister, who is a Knesset lawmaker for Netanyahu’s Likud party, publicly urged the prime minister to hold off on passing legislation related to the judiciary for a month.
- Gallant said that “the protests that took place across Israel against the amendments, and an increasing number of reservists joined them, affect the work of the regular forces and threaten national security.”
- Gallant stressed that he “will not make it easy,” referring to the possibility that he will abstain from voting on the ratification of the bill if it takes place this week.
Politicians attack Netanyahu
Following Netanyahu’s dismissal of Defense Minister Galant, criticism poured in on the prime minister.
- Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid: “Netanyahu can dismiss Galant, but he cannot shoot at reality and he cannot expel the people of Israel.”
- Lapid: “The Prime Minister of Israel is a threat to the security of the State of Israel.”
- Leader of the Israeli Labor Party, Merav Michaeli: “Netanyahu poses a threat to Israel now more than ever.”
For his part, the Israeli Minister of National Security, Itamar Ben Gvir, said after the dismissal of the Minister of Defense: “Now the reform has begun.”
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