Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Mass protests held in Israel against PM’s judicial reforms for 15th straight week

Tens of thousands have taken to the streets in Israel to protest against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to overhaul the judiciary, despite his decision to pause the contentious proposals.

More than 100,000 people participated in the main demonstration in Tel Aviv on Saturday, according to Israeli broadcaster Channel 12, and smaller demonstrations took place across the occupied territories. Counterprotests were also planned in several locations.

Protest organisers, who have held these weekly protests for more than three months, aim to maintain momentum and increase pressure on Netanyahu and his government until the proposed changes are scrapped.

Facing opposition from civil society, parts of the army and even within his own cabinet, Netanyahu paused the overhaul plans in late March, saying he wanted “to avoid civil war”.

The plan would give Netanyahu, who is on trial on corruption charges, and his allies in Israel’s most hardline government the final say in appointing the nation’s judges.

It would also give parliament, which is controlled by his allies, authority to overturn Supreme Court decisions and limit the court’s ability to review laws.

Opponents have said it will destroy a system of checks and balances by concentrating power in the hands of Netanyahu and his allies in parliament.

They also have said that Netanyahu has a conflict of interest at a time when he is on trial.

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