Fiery night in Israel: Protestors take to streets after Netanyahu sacks defense chief

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Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets in Tel Aviv and hundreds of protestors gathered outside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s residence in Jerusalem, after he sacked defense minister Yaov Gallant for criticizing the judicial reforms, Israeli media reported on Sunday.

Public figures leading the protests against the overhaul announced a demonstration Sunday night following the firing of Gallant. Thousands rushed to the main Ayalon Highway in Tel Aviv and blocked it in both directions, the Times of Israel reported.


Another group of protestors gathered in front of the military’s headquarters in Tel Aviv.

Police used water cannons to push back protesters who broke barricades near Netanyahu’s house.

“Thousands of protesters burned tires, placed barriers, stones and irons on the road on Kaplan junction and HIghway 20... Dozens of bonfires were lit in the middle of the street along Ayalon Highway,” the Jerusalem Post reported.

Gallant had on Saturday publicly criticized the government’s controversial reforms of the judicial system, saying that “the legislative process should be halted.” He saw the overhauls as a danger to state security in light of the widespread protests within the ranks of the military.

Netanyahu’s office declared in a brief statement Sunday evening that Gallant was dismissed without offering any more details.

After he was fired, Gallant said on Twitter: “The security of… Israel has always been and will always remain my life’s mission.”

Political figures and business leaders alike decried Gallant’s dismissal, saying that Netanyahu posed a “danger” to Israel and labelled him a “dictator”.

Netanyahu’s planned overhaul had ignited opposition far and wide across Israel since it was announced. Tens of thousands of Israelis have taken to the streets to protest against the contentious reforms, and several politicians, former cabinet members, and community leaders have publicly taken a stand against it.

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