Factbox-Key facts about Israel Defence Minister Yoav Gallant

By Thomson Reuters May 20, 2024 | 7:02 AM

(Reuters) – The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court on Monday said he had requested arrest warrants against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant for alleged war crimes in Gaza.

Here are some facts about Yoav Gallant.

A member of Netanyahu’s war cabinet and also his conservative Likud party, Gallant, 65, began military service as a navy frogman before rising to become one of the most senior commanders in the military.

Gallant clashed with Netanyahu last year during protests over plans to curb the power of the judiciary. The prime minister announced his sacking after he openly broke ranks to call for a halt to the plans, but was forced to back down after hundreds of thousands of Israelis took to the streets in spontaneous protests.

On Oct. 9, two days after Hamas’ assault on southern Israel, Gallant warned that the price Gaza would pay “will change reality for generations” and Israel was imposing a total blockade with a ban on food and fuel imports as part of a battle against “human animals”.

In a statement to mark 100 days of Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza, Gallant said that only military pressure would achieve the twin aims of destroying Hamas and freeing the hostages, in line with Netanyahu.

But he has since voiced frustration over an apparent lack of post-war plans for Gaza. He publicly challenged Netanyahu last week, saying in a televised statement that a political decision must be made regarding the day after. Gallant said he would not support open-ended Israeli military rule over Gaza.

Gallant said that, since soon after the conflict began in October, he had promoted a plan for a new Palestinian administration not linked to Hamas but “got no response” from various Israeli cabinet forums.

Gallant has worn only black since the fighting erupted and said he feels as if the hostages are his own children.

(Editing by Edmund Blair, Editing by William Maclean)