A defiant Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired Defence Minister Yoav Galant a day after he broke ranks, citing security concerns in calling for a pause to the government's controversial judicial reforms. On a day when 200,000 people took to the streets of Tel Aviv to protest the reforms, Galant -- who had been a staunch Netanyahu ally -- on Saturday said "we must stop the legislative process" for a month in view of its divisiveness.
The plans to hand more control to politicians and diminish the role of the Supreme Court have been questioned by Israel's top allies including the United States, while regularly igniting protests in Israel.
"The growing social rift has made its way into the (army) and security agencies," said Galant, who is a member of Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party. "It is a clear, immediate and tangible threat to Israel's security.
"I am committed to Likud values... and placing the State of Israel above all... but major changes on the national level must be made through deliberations and dialogue," he added, also calling for a halt to the protests.