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Israel: hundreds of soldiers and reservists protest against Netanyahu's legal reforms

February 8, 2023 at 4:01 pm

People gather to protest Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s bill that restricts the powers of the judiciary in West Jerusalem on February 4, 2023 [Saeed Qaq/Anadolu Agency]

Hundreds of serving soldiers and reservists have set off on a protest march in Israel in protest against the judicial reforms proposed by the far-right government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Israel Defence Forces personnel launched their three-day march from Latrun this morning, and plan to end it outside the Supreme Court on Friday.

“I hope that we will manage to somehow hold it back, and insert some sense into this gang of out-of-touch people who are leading the judicial overhaul,” Retired Major General Tal Russo told Ynet news. “They are out of touch and dangerous.”

Proposed by Justice Minister Yariv Levin, the reforms would be the most radical change in the system of government in Israel. The proposed changes will severely limit the power of the Supreme Court, give the government the power to choose judges and end the appointment by the Attorney General of legal advisers to ministries.

READ: Netanyahu accuses opposition of incitement against him

Moreover, if the legislation is passed by the Knesset, Netanyahu and any other politicians facing criminal charges will not be liable to prosecution. The prime minister has been indicted on corruption charges, although he denies all of the allegations against him.

The soldiers’ protest march comes after thousands of people took to the streets in Israeli cities on Saturday for a fifth straight week to protest against the planned judicial overhaul. According to local media, about 50,000 people, including people from non-governmental organisations, lawyers and the technology sectors, took part in the demonstration in Tel Aviv.

Netanyahu and his judicial reform plans – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]