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Israel sees fresh protests against government plans for judicial overhaul

March 19, 2023 at 3:23 pm

People stage protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government’s judicial regulations and far-right policies continue in Tel Aviv, Israel on February 18, 2023 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]

Opponents of the Israeli government’s plans for judicial overhaul staged fresh demonstrations for the 11th straight week on Saturday, Anadolu reports.

Protesters held rallies in several Israeli cities, including Tel Aviv, where several main roads were blocked, The Jerusalem Post newspaper reported.

Saturday’s protests were joined by Arab-Israelis and members of the Bedouin community, marking their first appearance in the ongoing demonstrations against the judicial reform plans.

Israeli police used water canons to disperse protesters, who blocked roads in northern Israel.

For more than two months, thousands of Israelis have taken to the streets to protest Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plans for judicial overhaul, seen by the opposition as an attempt to reduce the powers of the judicial authority in favor of the executive authority.

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

The planned 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.

However, Netanyahu, who is on trial for corruption, insists that his judicial plan would enhance democracy and would restore balance between the legislative, executive, and judicial powers.

On Thursday, Netanyahu rejected a proposal by President Isaac Herzog to solve the crisis.

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