2023 04 10t181426z 1 lynxmpej390j8 rtroptp 3 israel protests gallant

Israeli PM reverses decision to fire Defense Minister

JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday (April 10) said he would leave Defense Minister Yoav Gallant in place due to the escalating security crisis, reversing his decision to fire the minister that sparked the protests. protests and alarms abroad.

He said the two had settled their disagreement over Gallant’s public call last month to halt the government’s divisive judicial overhaul plan, which Gallant said had become a threat to the government. with Israel’s security.

Last week, Mr. Netanyahu announced he would delay the dismissal.

“I have decided to leave our differences behind,” Netanyahu said at a news conference on Monday. He said the two have been working closely together over the past two weeks.

An Italian tourist was killed and five injured in a car crash in Tel Aviv on Friday hours after two Israeli sisters and their mother were killed in a West Bank gun attack. occupied.

The attacks, following a night of cross-border airstrikes in Gaza and Lebanon, have increased tensions between Israel and the Palestinians following Israeli police raids on the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem this week. .

Tensions are likely to rise as Israel responds to a barrage of rockets by hitting targets linked to the Islamist group Hamas in Gaza and southern Lebanon, but fighting calmed down on Friday.

An opinion poll on Sunday, from Israel’s Channel 13 News, showed Mr Netanyahu’s Likud party would lose more than a third of its seats if an election were held now and Mr. won a majority with its hardline coalition partners.

“I’m not bothered by the poll,” Netanyahu told reporters.

The prime minister said relations with the United States, which appear strained due to the government’s planned judicial overhaul, remained “stronger than ever” and that the two countries enjoyed security and intelligence cooperation.

Mr. Netanyahu also addressed the issue of not being invited to an official visit to the White House during his latest term as prime minister.

“There will be a visit, don’t worry,” Netanyahu said.

His government has halted the overhaul of legislation to allow compromise discussions with opposition parties after weeks of nationwide protests.

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