|Date of birth||8 November 1958|
|Place of birth||Jaffa, Israel|
|Faction represented in Knesset|
|2015–2019||Minister of Construction|
|2019–||Minister of Aliyah and Integration|
Yoav Galant (Hebrew: יוֹאָב גָּלַנְטְ; born 8 November 1958) is an Israeli politician and former commander of the Southern Command in the Israel Defense Forces. In January 2015, he entered politics, joining the new Kulanu party. After being elected to the Knesset, he was appointed Minister of Construction. At the end of 2018, he joined Likud.
Yoav Galant was born in Jaffa to Polish Jewish immigrants. His mother, Fruma, was a Holocaust survivor who had been on the SS Exodus as a child. Along with other Exodus refugees, she was deported by the British to Hamburg, and arrived in Israel in 1948. She was a nurse by profession His father, Michael, fought the Nazis as a partisan in the forests of Ukraine and Belarus, and also immigrated to Israel in 1948. He served in the Givati Brigade in the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, including the Samson's Foxes unit, and was considered one of the finest snipers in the IDF. He participated in Operation Yoav, during which he was the first soldier to break into the fort at Iraq Suwaydan. He named his son for the operation. In Galant's youth, the family moved to Givatayim, where he studied at David Kalai high school. He received a BA in Business and Finance Management from the University of Haifa.
In 2011, Galant was tapped to succeed Gabi Ashkenazi as the Chief of General Staff by Defense Minister Ehud Barak. Although his appointment was approved by the government it was overturned due to allegations of building of an unauthorized access road to his home and planting an olive grove on public land outside the boundaries of his property.
|Service/||Navy, Southern Command|
|Years of service||1977–1982, 1984–2012|
|Rank||Aluf (Major General)|
|Battles/wars||Second Lebanon War, Operation Cast Lead|
Galant began his military career in 1977 as a naval commando in the 13th Flotilla. In the 1980s, after six years in the flotilla, he moved to Alaska and worked as a lumberjack. He then returned to the navy and served on a missile boat (including a position as deputy-commander of INS Keshet) and again in the 13th Flotilla. In 1992, Galant was earmarked by then-navy commander Ami Ayalon for the command of the 13th Flotilla, a position he was meant to take up in 1994. Galant preferred not to study during the two remaining years, and instead moved into the ground forces and in 1993 took up command of the Menashe (Jenin) Brigade of the West Bank Division.
After serving for three years as commander of the 13th Flotilla, Galant moved up to command the Gaza Division. He also commanded the reserve 340th Armored Division (Idan Formation), and in 2001 became the Chief of Staff of the GOC Army Headquarters. Galant attained the rank of a major general when he became the Military Secretary of the Prime Minister in 2002. In 2005, Galant was appointed as commander of the Southern Command. During his tenure (that lasted until 21 October 2010), the Israel Defense Forces embarked on Operation Cast Lead against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Galant commanded the operation and his role in the field and in the success of the operation gained praise and helped him in the race to Chief of Staff.
The Israeli NGO, Yesh Gvul, filed suit against Galant's appointment as IDF chief of staff, claiming that his command role in Cast Lead confirmed him as a suspect in "grave violations of international law." Haaretz noted that Galant lobbied against an investigation of Col. Ilan Malka, the IDF commander who approved the airstrike that killed 21 members of the al-Samouni clan during Cast Lead. Galant's view was ignored as the military prosecutor general opened an investigation of the incident which was highlighted by the Goldstone Report (since disavowed by its author) as a possible serious breach of international law.
Chief of Staff candidacy
On 22 August 2010, Minister of Defense Ehud Barak presented the candidacy of Galant for the post of the IDF's twentieth Chief of Staff to the government. It was expected that he would receive the promotion. Galant's appointment followed a controversy, where a forged document was transferred to Israel's Channel 2 which accused Galant of attempting to smear rival candidate Benny Gantz.
On 5 September 2010, the government approved the nomination of Yoav Galant as the next Chief of Staff, with only Likud minister Michael Eitan objecting. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the incoming IDF chief has "proven his worth during his 33 years of military service at the IDF's frontlines," and that "He's proven himself to be a courageous fighter, an excellent officer, and a responsible and serious battle commander." The PM added that Galant picked up on a legacy of "dedication and excellence" bequeathed by incumbent IDF chief Gabi Ashkenazi. The cabinet also approved Barak's proposal, according to which Galant would serve for three years, giving the defense minister power to grant a fourth.
On 1 February 2011, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak canceled the appointment of Galant to the post of Israel Defense Forces chief. The announcement came after months of scandal surrounding his appointment due to allegations that he had seized public lands near his home in Moshav Amikam. After conducting an investigation into the allegations, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein said that his findings "raise significant legal difficulties for the decision to appoint him." Weinstein said that it was up to the prime minister and defense minister to decide whether or not Galant could take up the post as new IDF chief of staff. Earlier in the day, Weinstein notified Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he could not defend Galant's appointment as chief of staff due to legal impediments.
On 30 December 2012, the local planning committee administrating land ownership issues and building licenses said that Galant had built his home in the northern community of Amikam on 350m² of property accidentally listed as his, unaware that it was actually public land. The decision didn't address two other issues still being investigated by the state comptroller and attorney general: the building of an unauthorized access road to his house and the planting of an olive grove that spilled over the boundaries of his property.
In January 2015 Galant joined the new Kulanu party. He was placed second on the party's list for the 2015 elections, and was elected to the Knesset as the party won ten seats. He was later appointed Minister of Construction in the new government.
In January 2016, the New York Times published an op-ed by Galant in which he describes how important he believes it is for Jewish and Arab leaders to come together in promoting peace and equality in their shared country. As part of that effort, he and MK Ayman Odeh, leader of the Joint List alliance of Arab parties, together visited several Arab Israeli towns. "Together, we examined firsthand the challenges facing Arab Israeli communities so that we could bring about solutions," he notes.
On 31 December 2018, Galant quit his post as Housing and Construction Minister to join Likud. A day later he was appointed Minister of Aliyah and Integration. He resigned from the Knesset and was replaced by the next candidate on the Kulanu list, Fentahun Seyoum on 2 January 2019.
- Amir Rappaport, Operation Yoav , Ma'ariv supplement Saturday, 21 April 2006
- "Yoav Galant's Race to the Top". Ynetnews. 24 August 2010. Retrieved 28 August 2010.
- Greenberg, Hanan (22 August 2010). "1st Chief of Staff from Naval Commando". Ynetnews. Retrieved 28 August 2010.
- Lis, Jonathan (5 September 2010). "Cabinet votes Galant in as next IDF chief of staff". Haaretz. Retrieved 6 September 2010.
- Pfeffer, Anshel; Ravid, Barak (22 August 2010). "Yoav Galant Named as Next Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff". Haaretz. Retrieved 22 August 2010.
- Katz, Yaakov. "Who is Yoav Galant?". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
- Schmidtberg, Ariel (28 April 2009). "Odyssey in Algeria". Israel HaYom. Retrieved 28 August 2010.
- "Barak Announced: Galant Will Be the Next Chief of Staff" (in Hebrew). Channel 2. 22 August 2010. Archived from the original on 24 August 2010. Retrieved 28 August 2010.
- Buhbut, Amir (22 August 2010). "From the Flotilla to Chief of Staff: Yoav Galant's Persona" (in Hebrew). nrg Maariv. Retrieved 28 August 2010.
- "Injunction Against Galant's Appointment: "Suspected of War Crimes"". Walla. 25 October 2010.
- "IDF probes top officers on Gaza war strike that killed 21 family members". Haaretz. 22 October 2010.
- Lis, Jonathan (23 August 2010). "Grumbling Aside, Galant's Approval all but Assured". Haaretz. Retrieved 28 August 2010.
- Yehoshua, Yossi (20 August 2010). "Suspect in Galant Affair Denies Involvement". Ynetnews. Retrieved 28 August 2010.
- Haaretz Service (1 February 2011). "Netanyahu, Barak announce Galant no longer new IDF chief". Haaretz. Retrieved 1 February 2011.
- Kalman, Aaron (20 December 2012). "Former IDF general partially cleared in land scandal that stopped his appointment as chief of staff". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
- Building the Future in Israel NYT, 21 January 2016
- Schneider, Tal (31 December 2018). "Galant quits as housing minister to join Likud". Globes. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
- Wootliff, Raoul (1 January 2019). "As he leaves Kulanu, Gallant appointed immigration minister". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
- Replacements Among Knesset Members Knesset