Sunday evening, in a move that sent shock waves throughout Israel, PM Netanyahu fired Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. Gallant had called to halt the judicial reform over concern that the unrest was dividing the IDF and threatening Israel’s military preparedness. The prime minister claimed that Gallant’s statement undermined governmental unity, and consequently, he could no longer trust Gallant.
Gallant’s termination ignited the already tense situation. Overnight, protesters lighted fires on major highways and broke through the police barricade surrounding the prime minister’s Jerusalem residence. Ben Gurion Airport has grounded all flights until further notice, and the Histadrut, Israel’s biggest labor union, announced that it will be joining the protests. This is the 12th consecutive week of mass protests against the judicial reform legislation, but Sunday’s events took the unrest to a whole new level.
Many expected Netanyahu to announce a halt to legislation Monday, but his speech was put off. Reports blamed National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, who apparently threatened to withdraw his party from the government if the legislation was halted. If Ben Gvir were to withdraw, Netanyahu’s government would likely fall, and the country would return to the polls.
The tense security situation adds further complications. Ramadan began last Wednesday, leading to heightened tensions and rioting in Judea and Samaria. Two soldiers were shot and injured in the third consecutive terrorist attack in the Palestinian village of Huwara. Both soldiers are in stable condition.
Please pray for an immediate restoration of calm and comparative unity! Please pray for wisdom for leaders to prioritize Israel as a whole over their personal objectives. Lastly, please pray for the conflict in the ranks of the IDF and for Israel’s military preparedness.
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