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POLITICAL BACKTRACK

Netanyahu says Israeli Defence Minister he sacked will be reinstated

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a weekly Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem.

After a week of rocket attacks and shootings by Palestinian militants on multiple fronts, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu backtracked on his decision to fire Defence Minister Yoav Gallant. The minister had angered Netanyahu by calling to suspend his government’s plan to weaken the judiciary, saying it was dividing the nation. 

“We had disputes, but I decided to leave them behind, and he will remain defence minister,” Netanyahu said Monday at a news conference.

Gallant’s firing last month sparked an outpouring of grassroots outrage as well as a nationwide strike. In urging the suspension of the legislation, he invoked widespread threats among military reservists to skip training or service because they view the plan as an assault on Israeli democracy.

Netanyahu blamed the reservists and the previous government for the attacks that Israel has endured in recent days, and accused them of giving Israel’s enemies the idea that the country is divided and weak.

“Our enemies interpreted the calls to refuse to show up for duty as a weakening of our national might,” he said, turning the tables on those who blame him for the deteriorating security situation.

A new survey shows his approval ratings and that of his ruling Likud party plummeting.

Gallery

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