Yoav Galant, an Israeli general, was born in 1958 to Polish parents who survived the Holocaust and immigrated to Palestine in 1948. He was known for his military distinction and his promotion to leadership positions, reaching the position of Minister of Defense, when he was appointed by the Prime Minister. Benjamin Netanyahuwho had dismissed him from the position on two occasions before 2023.
Gallant is one of the biggest supporters of settlement in the West Bank, and those who advocate the necessity of an Israeli incursion into Gaza stripHe faces charges of violations International humanitarian law In Israel’s war on Gaza in 2008/2009.
Birth and upbringing
Yoav Galant was born in the city of Jaffa on November 8, 1958, to Polish parents who immigrated on the ship “Exodus” in 1948.
Galant Froma’s mother and father, Michael, were Holocaust survivors, and his father was a sniper in the Israeli army, and one of the holders of a military certificate of excellence.
Gallant’s wife is called Claudine, whom he met during his military career. She had served as an officer in the Marine Corps and retired with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
They have a son and two daughters, and his son and one of his daughters also work in the military sector.
Gallant graduated from the University of Haifa, with a bachelor’s degree in economics and business administration.
In 1976, Galant joined the ranks of the Israeli army commandos, known as “Sheet 13,” and served as an officer in the naval forces.
Gallant was known for being a “brilliant officer” in the elite naval unit, which carried out several military operations inside and outside the Palestinian territories.
After being released from compulsory military service in 1982, Gallant moved to the US state of Alaska, and spent a period there working as a lumberjack. After two years, he returned to Israel, where he worked as a commander of a military combat ship.
In 1986, Gallant was appointed company commander, promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel, and then quickly rose to military positions.
In 1992, he was appointed commander of the naval commando unit “Sheet 13,” and the following year he moved to the ground forces and assumed command of the Jenin Brigade in the West Bank.
In 1997, he assumed command of the Gaza Strip, and in 2002 he attained the rank of general, and served as military secretary to former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, a position to which he is credited with making Gallant “with extensive knowledge of the general staff and the security establishment in general.”
Some of his friends described him as “a brilliant military leader who knows how to read the battlefield, determine the map of threats, and knows what is most important, which is to develop new solutions to confront them.”
In December 2022, Netanyahu decided to appoint Gallant as Minister of Defense, succeeding Benny Gantz.
Yoav Galant is considered a military superior, but his political life is marred by some scandals and problems, and his political activity began in January 2015.
He began by joining the new “Kulanu” party (the meaning of its name: all of us). Galant ranked second on the party’s list for the 2015 elections, then was elected as a member of the Knesset, and was later appointed Minister of Construction in the new government.
In 2019, Gallant left the “All of Us” party and joined Likud, the party of his ally Netanyahu.
In 2010, after Yoav Galant’s success in Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, then-Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak nominated him to assume the position of Chief of Staff of the Israeli Army, thus becoming the first naval officer to hold this position.
At the same time, the Israeli non-governmental organization “Yesh Gvul” filed a lawsuit against his appointment, on suspicion of “committing grave violations of international law during Operation Cast Lead.” However, despite these violations; Gallant’s position within the ranks of the Israeli army was strengthened.
In addition to these accusations, Barak’s request to appoint Gallant was controversial, as it went against the wishes of then Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi.
In conjunction with these events, a leak by Gallant was spread through an Israeli channel, in which he attempted to discredit Benny Gantz, his rival for the position, and that leak was known as the “Gallant Document.”
Gallant denied these accusations and the police acquitted him. After a while, he said that he did not intend to pursue the matter, and people close to him said that he “remained calm throughout the investigation period, and was confident that this case would not harm his candidacy, so he did not change any of his usual daily activities.”
In September 2010, the Israeli Cabinet headed by Benjamin Netanyahu approved Gallant’s appointment.
Netanyahu said that Gallant had proven to be “a brave fighter, an excellent officer, and a responsible and serious battle commander over the course of 33 years of military service.” However, Netanyahu himself canceled Gallant’s appointment to this position in February 2011.
Gallant’s appointment was canceled following his accusation of confiscating public land to build his house, and the results of the investigation resulted in “major legal difficulties” regarding his appointment.
This was considered a “scandal” that prevented him from being appointed to the position, but no criminal charges were brought against him in the case.
Gallant was then offered the position of Commander of the Ground Forces, but he refused and decided to remain in the Southern Command.
After Gallant was appointed Minister of Defense in 2022, Netanyahu announced his dismissal on March 26, 2023, following his controversial statements on the issue of amending the judicial system.
Gallant had called for freezing the mechanism to amend the judicial system, which the government is seeking, against widespread popular objection. Gallant said that his motivation for doing so was “fear of a threat to Israel’s security due to the popular division over the file.”
On April 11, 2023, Gallant was returned to the position of Minister of Defense, following public pressure and demonstrations that followed his resignation, in addition to the Israeli consul in New York submitting his resignation, saying that he was no longer able to represent “this government and that it was his duty to ensure that Israel remains a beacon.” For democracy and freedom in the world.
Yoav Galant is considered one of the most prominent supporters of the establishment of Israeli settlements on Palestinian lands, which made the head of the settlement council, Shlomo Neeman, welcome his appointment as Minister of Defense, as he stated at the time that “Galant did a lot for settlement in the West Bank.”
Statements after the “Al-Aqsa Flood”
In the Israeli aggression on Gaza following an operation Al-Aqsa flood launched by the resistance against settlements Gaza cover On October 7, 2023, Yoav Galant announced that Operation Iron Swords should be the last, and claimed that the Islamic Resistance Movement would no longer exist (agitation) Then.
He also added that this time this war would last a month or three months, and “in the end there will be no Hamas.” He said that Israel is fighting “human animals” in Gaza.
He continued, “Before Hamas meets our armor, it will test aerial bombardment,” then he addressed his forces, saying, “You know how to do this in a lethal way.”
According to the official Israeli Broadcasting Corporation, Galant indicated before members of the Israeli Parliamentary Foreign Affairs and Security Committee at the Ministry of Defense headquarters in Tel Aviv that “this is an organized campaign in 3 stages.”
A statement from the Israeli Defense Minister’s office said, “Gallant presented in detail the objectives of the campaign, including eliminating Hamas and destroying its military and governmental capabilities, completely relieving Israel of responsibility for the Gaza Strip, and creating a new security reality in the region.”