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Gallant mulling apology over judicial reform statement in bid to keep post

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant is reportedly willing to apologize for the timing of his statement, but not its content.

From left: Israel Air Force chief Maj. Gen. Tomer Bar, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi visit the IAF control center, Jan. 25, 2023. Photo by Kobi Gideon/GPO.
From left: Israel Air Force chief Maj. Gen. Tomer Bar, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi visit the IAF control center, Jan. 25, 2023. Photo by Kobi Gideon/GPO.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant is reportedly considering apologizing for his call last week to halt the government’s judicial reform initiative in a bid to keep his post, Hebrew-language media reported Wednesday.

Gallant on Saturday made the call in an address to the nation, saying the societal divide amid mass demonstrations had found its way into the Israel Defense Forces as an increasing number of reservists were threatening to refuse to report for duty.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Gallant’s dismissal the following night, but has not yet sent him a required letter giving the defense minister 48 hours’ notice prior to his termination taking effect. As such, Gallant remains in his post.

After Netanyahu on Monday paused the reform program to “provide a real opportunity for real dialogue,” Shas leader Aryeh Deri and other coalition lawmakers began urging the premier to reverse the sacking.

Deri has reportedly been mediating between Netanyahu and Gallant, who met on Tuesday for a security briefing despite the developments.

According to the reports, Gallant is willing to apologize for the timing of his statement, but without walking back his warning about the security implications.

Gallant had announced a speech to the nation last Thursday, but canceled it after Netanyahu summoned him to a meeting in Jerusalem.

Netanyahu flew out to London the next day and had not yet returned to Israel when Gallant delivered his address.

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