Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, whose sacking prompted protests across Israel, is likely to retain his job as he is willing to issue an apology in writing while also have to confirm his loyalty to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Times of Israel reported citing a Hebrew media.
For his part, the defense minister reportedly feels that he was left with no choice but to make the speech after Netanyahu ignored his concerns for weeks regarding the damage the judicial overhaul was causing to the military.
Netanyahu fumed at Gallant for the prime-time address he gave last Saturday evening in which he warned that the national divide over the overhaul had "penetrated the IDF and security agencies," impacting their operational capacity, and posed a "tangible threat" to national security.
The prime minister took issue with the content of Gallant's message, given Netanyahu's desire to pass legislation radically curbing the High Court of Justice's power. But he was particularly furious over its timing, the defence minister delivered his speech while Netanyahu was visiting London, Times of Israel reported citing a Hebrew media.
Gallant is prepared to issue an apology in writing, but only for the timing of the speech, as he still stands by the original warning he made a week ago, Times of Israel reported citing Channel 12. Other local Israeli media also carried similar reports. A local media, Channel 12 said that a mere apology would not be sufficient for Netanyahu, and claimed, without elaboration, that Gallant would also have to confirm his loyalty to Netanyahu.
For his part, the defence minister reportedly feels that he was left with no choice but to make the speech after Netanyahu ignored his concerns for weeks regarding the damage the judicial overhaul was causing to the military.
Last Thursday, Gallant planned to give the speech he gave on Saturday night, but Netanyahu managed to convince him to hold off, reportedly assuring him that he would indeed announce a temporary halt to the legislation. Gallant agreed to cancel his speech and waited two more days, but Netanyahu didn't make any announcement, leading the defence minister to move forward with his original plan, Times of Israel reported.
Less than 24 hours after Gallant's speech, Netanyahu's office announced that he was firing the defence minister, a move that sparked spontaneous mass protests in Tel Aviv and across the country that continued into the early hours of Monday morning.
The protests swelled Monday to a strike announcement by Israel's largest labour union, including the grounding of outgoing flights from Ben Gurion Airport, leading Netanyahu to announce a temporary pause to the legislative push that evening, saying he was going to give a chance for compromise negotiations with the opposition.
Despite eventually following Gallant's lead and pausing the legislation, Netanyahu has yet to forgive his defence minister for what he views as a betrayal. However, he has also yet to sign a letter formally notifying Gallant of his removal, which is required for the decision to be finalized, Times of Israel reported.
Netanyahu has reportedly come under pressure from several coalition partners, including Shas party leader Aryeh Deri, to keep Gallant as defence minister, and the Biden administration also expressed its concern after the premier's decision, while not commenting on Gallant's removal directly. Channel 13 reported that US officials are privately lobbying Netanyahu to keep Gallant on, Times of Israel reported. (ANI)