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In their first appearance together since the dismissal: a joint field tour of Netanyahu and Galant

The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, made a field visit to the Israeli army forces, accompanied by the Minister of Security, Yoav Gallant, on Monday, in their first appearance together, since Netanyahu announced the dismissal of Gallant, last week, without proceeding with the implementation of this decision; This increases the likelihood that the Minister of Security will remain in office.

This evening, Monday, Netanyahu and Gallant visited two military bases to congratulate the soldiers on the Jewish “Passover” holiday. Two statements issued by the Prime Minister’s Office and the Israeli Ministry of Security confirmed that Netanyahu and Galant participated together in a ceremony marking the Jewish “Passover”, in addition to other security officials.

During remarks he made at the ceremony, Netanyahu said, “Without the Israeli army and security forces, there is no State of Israel. In order for there to be a State of Israel, we must preserve our unity, and we must preserve our ability to defend ourselves.”

Netanyahu added, “The most important thing, I will say it this way, is to leave politics at the gate of the military base, and to unite together to protect Israel’s eternity, and that is why we are here today.”

In turn, Gallant said: “We have a strong, high-quality army that works day and night in all sectors,” adding: “The threats against us are great threats, coming from one source; Iran, which sends its weapons… to Gaza, Syria, Lebanon, Judea and Samaria ( the occupied West Bank), and even trying to recruit citizens from within the territory of Israel.”

Gallant said, “In front of this threat, we place the human spirit and technological strength of the … Israeli army, cooperation, and unity of purpose.”

He continued, “The connection of fighters who come from all spheres of society and do things shoulder to shoulder is the key to success… Enemy bullets do not distinguish between those who come from the city or the village, from the mountain or the valley, they are all the same on the battlefield. Therefore, we are We need to show a united front against the enemy.”

“These things are especially important at this time, when we see efforts to harm us in new places, which we haven’t seen in recent years,” he stressed.

For its part, the Israeli media reported that Netanyahu decided to postpone the decision to dismiss Galant to an unspecified date. And the Israeli Channel 12 quoted people close to Netanyahu as saying that the latter “will discuss the dismissal of the Minister of Security, Galant, at a later time, due to security developments.”

The Israeli Broadcasting Corporation (Kan 11) and the Ynet website also quoted informed sources as saying that “given the developments in the security situation, Netanyahu will consider dismissing the Minister of Security later,” without specifying a date. “Kan 11” said. Netanyahu postponed the dismissal.

“Sources close to Netanyahu” did not specify the nature of these “security developments,” while neither Netanyahu nor Galant made an official comment on the matter.

For his part, former Defense Minister Benny Gantz said in a tweet, “It is precisely because of the security challenges that Netanyahu must immediately announce his decision to keep Galant in his post.” He added, “Israel’s security is not an audition for a play or a movie. Israeli citizens need a security minister now.”

Netanyahu has not yet handed over the official dismissal letter to Gallant, in light of the security tensions in Israel and the internal tensions due to the division in Israeli society over the Netanyahu government’s plan to weaken the judiciary.

The announcement of the defense minister’s dismissal on March 26 followed Galant’s public demand for Netanyahu to halt the judicial reform plan, which sparked unprecedented public outcry, even within the IDF, with soldiers and army reserve officers announcing that they might refuse the summons as a form of protest.

In the end, Netanyahu backed down and suspended the judicial amendments until the Knesset’s summer session, after acquiescing to the conditions set by National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir to allow talks with opposition parties to reach a settlement.

During the past days, there have been efforts to end the dispute between Netanyahu and Gallant, whose possible dismissal has raised concerns within the Likud party and the military establishment, and among Israel’s Western allies, led by the administration of US President Joe Biden, who opposed Gallant’s dismissal.

The settlement being discussed includes a public apology from Gallant to Netanyahu, noting that efforts to mediate between Gallant and Netanyahu were led by the head of the “Shas” party, Aryeh Deri, with the aim of not bringing the dismissal of the defense minister into effect.

Today, Ynet indicated that Gallant does not intend to apologize for the content of the press conference in which he called for halting legislation related to the plan to weaken the judiciary, but rather for holding this conference while Netanyahu was abroad.

While Netanyahu accuses Gallant of having dealt laxly with the wave of those who refused military service in the ranks of the Israeli army, in protest against the plan to weaken the judiciary, and is considered to be “normalizing with the rejecters,” Gallant rejects these accusations and does not intend to apologize for them.

The former Israeli security minister and head of the “National Camp” party, Benny Gantz, who was in contact with Galant before the latter held his press conference in which he demanded the suspension of judicial legislation, sharply criticized Netanyahu.

Gantz tweeted, this morning, saying: “Within 48 hours – two operations, shooting down a plane that crossed from Syrian territory, reports of Iranians killed in Syria – and Netanyahu is still holding a suspended security minister.” And he considered that this constitutes a “clear, immediate and tangible danger to Israel’s security.”

Earlier yesterday, two Israeli officials told Reuters that Gallant and Netanyahu will visit two military bases this evening, Monday, to congratulate the soldiers on the Jewish “Passover” holiday. In general, details of such visits are not published in advance for security reasons. The agency also quoted an aide to Netanyahu (who did not name him) that he would accompany Galant on a field tour to visit the Israeli army forces.

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