Justice Minister Yariv Levin and Benjamin Netanyahu
Justice Minister Yariv Levin and Benjamin Netanyahuצילום: נועם מושקוביץ-דוברות הכנסת

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is planning to hold a second meeting Monday with Coalition leaders in a bid to win their support for a temporary delay in the judicial reform plan, after the first meeting reportedly devolved into a shouting match between National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and the prime minister.

Netanyahu is now looking to secure support of his Coalition allies for a plan to push off the judicial over haul by several weeks.

The prime minister had planned to give a public address Monday morning announcing that he is freezing the judicial overhaul, following the dismissal of Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (Likud) and the mass demonstrations which subsequently broke out across the country Sunday night.

But Netanyahu later 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 appointments committee.

The bill was approved by the Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee Monday morning, paving the way for the second and third readings in the Knesset plenum.

During the Coalition meeting, Justice Minister Yariv Levin (Likud), Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich (Religious Zionist Party) and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir (Otzma Yehudit) all demanded the government move forward with the judicial overhaul.

At the end of the meeting, however, Netanyahu emphasized that given the intensity of the current protests, the government has no choice but to pause the reforms.

Justice Minister Yariv Levin has quietly acquiesced to Netanyahu’s demand to delay passage of the reforms by several weeks, telling his close associates: “I understand that we have no choice but to delay the continuation of the legislation.”

In a statement released to the press, Levin said he would accept " any decision Prime Minister Netanyahu makes regarding passage of the judicial reform."

"This stems from an understanding that in a situation in which anyone can do whatever they feel to right could lead to the immediate toppling of the government and collapse of the Likud."

"We must all make an effort to stabilize the government and the Coalition. We are all obliged not to make the mistake that led to the toppling of the Shamir government, a mistake that led to the disaster of the Oslo Accords."

According to Kan, Otzma Yehudit chairman Minister Ben-Gvir threatened during the Coalition meeting Monday to take his party out of the government, while supporting the Coalition from outside the government.

Finance Minister Smotrich has also agreed to delay the legislation by several weeks, according to Kan.