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Anti-government protests resume in Israel for 10th straight week

March 12, 2023 at 1:12 pm

An aerial view of streets where Israelis take part in the “Day of Resistance” rally to protest the Israeli government plan to introduce judicial changes, seen by the opposition as an attempt to reduce the powers of the judicial authority in favor of the executive authority in Tel Aviv, Israel on March 11, 2023. [Amir Terkel – Anadolu Agency]

Tens of thousands of Israelis took to the streets Saturday to protest Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing policies and a plan that would restrict the powers of the judiciary, Anadolu reports.

Israelis have held demonstrations every Saturday against the judicial regulation of the extreme right-wing coalition government led by Netanyahu.

They were on the streets again Saturday in the tenth consecutive week of protests held in dozens of cities, including Tel Aviv, Haifa, West Jerusalem, Beersheba and Netanya.

Representatives from different NGOs made pro-democracy speeches on a stage set up in Tel Aviv’s Kaplan square near the government complex.

Demonstrators also chanted slogans against Netanyahu, National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich.

Yair Lapid, former prime minister and leader of the opposition Yesh Atid party, attended demonstrations in the southern city of Beersheba.

“Together with more than 10,000 mighty protesters in Beersheba, fighting for the state,” Lapid wrote on Twitter.

Proposed by Justice Minister Yariv Levin, the reform plan, if enacted, would be the most radical change ever in the system of government in Israel.

The change would severely limit the power of the Supreme Court of Justice, give the government the power to choose judges and end the appointment of legal advisers to ministries by the attorney general.

Netanyahu, who is on trial for corruption, has insisted his plan would enhance democracy.

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