The protest rallies were held on Saturday ahead of a key decision by the regime’s Supreme Court over a legislation passed in the Knesset by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s far-right cabinet, which stripped the court of some of its oversight powers.
In addition to the coastal city of Tel Aviv, where tens of thousands took to the streets, similar rallies were also held in dozens of other locations across the occupied territories, including Haifa, Beer Sheba, Modiin, Herzilya, the occupied city of al-Quds and some other cities.
The Israeli police closed a number of main roads in Tel Aviv after the demonstration started.
Some Israeli media reported that a number of demonstrators raised Palestinian flags.
In addition to the weekly protests, several thousand people also completed a three-day march in the northern part of the occupied territories in protest at the so-called overhaul scheme.
“This is the 36th weeks in a row that we are demonstrating against Netanyahu’s attempts to make a coup…. This demonstration is three days before the deliberations in the Supreme Court to disable the law that they passed…. We are gonna demonstrate … on Monday … in front [of] the Supreme Court [in al-Quds] in our efforts to stop this horrible legislation,” one protester was quoted by Reuters as saying.
“I am demonstrating … to make sure that there is a supremacy of … the Supreme Court. Right now, we have clowns and criminals [in the cabinet] … and I wanna make sure that they go away,” another demonstrator added.
Thousands-strong weekly rallies have been a fixture since January, when the regime’s hard-right cabinet announced its plans to turn the scheme into law.
Proponents of the plan say it helps redistribute the balance of power between the politicians and the judiciary. Its opponents, however, accuse Netanyahu of trying his hand at a power grab. They say the premier, who is on trial on several counts of corruption charges, is also attempting to use the scheme to quash possible judgments against him.
The far-right cabinet has already passed one of the scheme’s bills through the Knesset, which removed the court’s power to strike down the cabinet’s decisions or appointments on the basis of being “unreasonable.”
The regime’s Supreme Court, for the first time in its history, is to convene its entire 15-judge bench on Tuesday, September 12, to hear an appeal against that bill.