Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered an address to the nation this evening (Monday) on the government's planned judicial reforms.
"There is an extreme minority that is ready to tear our country into parts. It tends towards violence. It ignites fire. It threatens to harm elected officials. It talks about civil war. And it calls for insubordination, which is a terrible crime," Netanyahu said.
"The State of Israel cannot exist without the IDF, and the IDF cannot exist with insubordination. Insubordination by one side will bring about insubordination on the other side. Insubordination is the end of our state. Therefore I demand that our security forces and the IDF's commanders to oppose the phenomenon of insubordination. Not to contain it, not to understand it. To stop it," he said.
"For three months, I have called for dialogue. I also said that I would leave no stone unturned in order to reach a solution. Because I remember, we remember, that we are not facing enemies: we are facing our brothers. I say here and now: we must not have a civil war.
"We are now on a path towards a very dangerous collision in Israeli society, which jeopardizes the basic unity between us, and such a crisis obligates all of us to act responsibly.
"Out of national responsibility, out of a desire to prevent a rift in the nation, I have decided to postpone the second third reading of the law in this session of the Knesset in order to give time to try to reach a wide agreement on the legislation in the next session of the Knesset. This way, we will bring about a reform that will restore the balance which has been lost, while maintaining and even strengthening human and individual rights," he declared.
The Prime Minister said that a majority of his allies in the coalition support the move to freeze the legislation changing the composition of the judicial selection committee. The Otzma Yehudit party had earlier announced that Netanyahu and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir had reached an agreement on the freezing of the legislation.
Neyanyahu had reportedly planned to give a public address this morning announcing the freezing of the judicial reform legislation following the dismissal of Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (Likud) and the mass demonstrations which subsequently broke out across the country Sunday night. He decided to hold off on making a public statement after the Religious Zionist party issued a statement demanding the immediate passage of legislation altering the Judicial Selection Committee.