Netanyahu and Gallant
Netanyahu and GallantErik Marmor&Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (Likud) Sunday, after Gallant publicly demanded the government freeze its judicial overhaul.

The Prime Minister's Office announced that Netanyahu made the decision Sunday evening, a day after Gallant's public address regarding the judicial reform plan.

"We need a change in the legal system, but such changes are made through negotiation and discourse," Gallant said. "A victory for one of the parties will be a loss of the State of Israel. We must lead a participatory and unifying process."

"For the sake of Israel's security, the legislative process should be stopped, and negotiations should be held."

Gallant had spoken with Netanyahu on Thursday, ahead of his planned address, which was delayed at the prime minister's behest.

Amid concerns within the Coalition regarding Netanyahu's commitment to the overhaul, the prime minister made a televised statement Thursday night, pushing off his trip to London.

In his speech, Netanyahu called on the Opposition to negotiate towards a compromise, while vowing not to halt legislation already under consideration in the Knesset.

Netanyahu reportedly refused Gallant's request to convene the Cabinet in order to discuss the potential consequences of blowback from the judicial reforms, apparently prompting Gallant to make his own public statement Saturday night.

Gallant's warning regarding the potential impact the anti-judicial reform protests could have on the IDF's readiness come following announcements by hundreds of reservists who pledged not to show up for reserve duty or participate in reserve training programs.

On Friday, some 200 Israel Air Force reserve pilots notified the IAF commander of their intentions not to take part in reserve operations.

Netanyahu is expected to tap Agriculture Minister and former Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) director Avi Dichter (Likud) to replace Gallant.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir (Otzma Yehudit) lauded Gallant's termination, tweeting: "Reform now!"