Netanyahu Returns From U.K. Visit After Gallant Calls to Halt Judicial Reform


British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak welcomes Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at Downing Street in London, Friday. (REUTERS/Toby Melville)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu returned to Israel early on Sunday after a weekend in London.

The prime minister’s arrival comes hours after Defense Minister Yoav Gallant made a public appeal to suspend his coalition’s legislation to change Israel’s judicial system which has brought Israelis out to the streets in mass protests.

Gallant on Motzoei Shabbos said that the bitter dispute over the measures poses a danger to national security.

“The deepening split is seeping into the military and security agencies – this is a clear, immediate and real danger to Israel’s security. I will not facilitate this,” Gallant said in a brief media statement.

According to some reports, his request to convene the Security Cabinet in order to brief ministers on the dangers was refused by the prime minister.

The defense minister had intended to make his public statement on Thursday but was convinced not to after a meeting with the prime minister.

Netanyahu then addressed the nation himself and made clear he had no intention of slowing down his legislative push

A small number of Likud MKs did, however, back Gallant.

Meanwhile, the Knesset Constitution, Law, Justice Committee in the Knesset convened to continue the coalition’s legislative push in heated debates as the chairman, MK Simcha Rothman, refused to allow opposition members to make statements.

The coming week is seen as a pivotal moment with final votes scheduled on the all-important changes the coalition seeks to make to the way judges and High Court Justices are elected.

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