Netanyahu faces mounting partisan pressure following defense minister’s appeal to halt judicial modifications.

A senior lawmaker in the Israeli Knesset from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party joined Sunday An invitation launched by the Minister of Defense To suspend proposed amendments to the judicial system that have caused controversy and division and raised the prospect of shrinking the government’s parliamentary majority.

And those splits in the prime minister’s party and his government added to the pressure resulting from unprecedented mass protests that have been going on for months, organized by Israelis who believe that the amendment package endangers the independence of the courts and judiciary.

Netanyahu says that these amendments will achieve a balance between the ruling circles. Netanyahu is facing trial on corruption charges, which he denies.

A basic bill that would give his ruling coalition more control over the appointment of judges to the Knesset is due for ratification this week. Netanyahu and his allies hold 64 of the 120 Knesset seats.

However, the presence of opposition from within the Likud cast doubt on whether this vote, for which a deadline has not yet been set, will take place in the first place.

It is noteworthy that Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, who is also a member of the Likud party, contradicted on Saturday the general position of the party and publicly urged Netanyahu to suspend the approval of the legislation for a month. and threaten national security.

“I will not make it easy,” Gallant said in televised remarks, referring to the possibility that he would abstain from voting on the ratification of the bill if it took place this week.

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On Sunday, Yuli Edelstein, a Likud deputy and chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, also called for suspending the judicial amendments to allow for debate and review.

When asked during an interview whether he would abstain from voting or vote against the bill, he did not answer directly, but indicated that he will not attend sessions in the Knesset this month.

“I need to remind you that I did not attend the first readings of those bills when they in Likud did not listen to me and ignored my call for dialogue,” Edelstein told Israel’s Army Radio.

“We don’t want to completely abandon the amendments (but)… putting them to a vote before there is clear support for them would be a risk that is best avoided,” he added.

Senior Likud MK David Bitan welcomed Galant’s remarks, and MK Eli Dallal spoke of his preference for suspending ratification of the legislation. However, it was not immediately clear if any other Likud lawmakers would abstain from voting while the legislation was put forward for ratification.

Netanyahu returned to Israel early Sunday morning after completing a visit to London, but has yet to comment on a call by members of his party to suspend the amendments.

But Likud MP Tali Gottlieb, who supports the judicial amendments, seemed unfazed by these objections.

“We have 62 (they will vote yes) and even if someone doesn’t come, we will have 61. The vote will take place this week,” she told radio station 103 FM in Tel Aviv.

France 24/Reuters

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