Israel in 'greater danger' than at any time since Yom Kippur war, says ex-premier

Israel in 'greater danger' than at any time since Yom Kippur war, says ex-premier

Naftali Bennett calls for dialogue, avoiding violence amid rift over government's judicial change plan

By Mucahit Aydemir

JERUSALEM (AA) - Amid mass protests against a government plan for judicial overhaul, Israel is in the most peril since the 1973 Yom Kippur War, former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has warned.

Bennett tweeted late on Sunday that the country is "in greater danger than ever since the Yom Kippur War," a conflict that saw Israel fight against both Egypt and Syria.

He urged the government to engage in dialogue and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to revoke his sacking of Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

On Saturday, Gallant called on the government to pause its sweeping judicial reform project, citing dangers to state security, given widespread protests in the military.

After Gallant's pushback on the key government initiative, Netanyahu gave him his walking papers on Sunday evening.

Israel then witnessed mass protests that lasted until dawn the next day.

In addition to the military, the controversial reforms have drawn huge public protests for months, with demonstrators calling the initiative a power grab by the government.​​​​​​

"It doesn't matter who is right or wrong," Bennett said. "I urge all demonstrators and Israeli citizens to protest without violence and bloodshed. We are brothers."

On trial for corruption, Netanyahu claims that his plan would enhance democracy and restore the balance between the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government.

*Writing by Mahmoud Barakat in Ankara

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