Report: Defense Minister Gallant working to establish unity government

Yoav Gallant reportedly pushing to form national unity government with Yesh Atid, National Unity Party – while excluding Otzma Yehudit and Religious Zionist Party.

By World Israel News Staff

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (Likud) is pushing for the formation of a national unity government with center-left parties, according to a new report published by Yedioth Ahronoth Friday.

Gallant, a career IDF officer who entered politics with the centrist Kulanu party before joining the Likud in 2019, is reportedly working to shift the ruling coalition towards the center by bringing the Yesh Atid and National Unity Party factions into the government to replace Otzma Yehudit and Religious Zionist Party.

The report further claimed that Gallant is willing to step down as Defense Minister if necessary for the formation of a national unity government.

Yedioth Ahronoth quoted Gallant as citing a number of issues to justify his support for a national unity government, most of them related to opposition to the judicial overhaul.

“In the situation which has been created in the defense establishment, the healthcare system, the judiciary, the relationship with the US government, in the city streets – this is the appropriate step to take.”

For months, Gallant has criticized his own government over its handling of the judicial reform plan, making a televised appeal in March calling on Netanyahu to halt the judicial reform.

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Gallant’s public criticism of the overhaul and the government prompted Netanyahu to fire him as Defense Minister – only to reverse course days later, freezing the judicial reform plan and walking back Gallant’s termination.

Prior to the passage this week of a bill limiting the judiciary’s ability to strike down government decisions based on the reasonableness standard, Gallant pleaded with Opposition and Coalition lawmakers to reach a compromise for a watered down version of the bill.

“I tried to lead to a compromise,” Gallant told colleagues behind closed doors, according to a Yedioth Ahronoth report. “If I had left [the plenum] it would not have changed anything. It’s better that I stay behind the wheel these days.”