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Israel right organises counter protests in support of judicial overhaul

March 31, 2023 at 2:35 pm

Israeli police officers intervene some protesters as hundreds of Israelis gather to protest against the Israeli government’s plan to introduce judicial changes in Tel Aviv, Israel on March 27, 2023. [Saeed Qaq – Anadolu Agency]

Thousands of extremist Israelis yesterday came out in support of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s judicial overhaul plan, blocking a highway in Tel Aviv.

The protests were organised by Netanyahu’s Likud Party and the far-right, extra-parliamentary group Im Tirtzu; which a Jerusalem judge found in 2013 draws influence from fascist ideology.

Ahead of the protest, the police announced that they would close central streets in Tel Aviv due to concerns that extremists would carry out attacks.

Israeli media outlets reported that buses transported demonstrators from across Israel including settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories to Tel Aviv for the protest.

Fears of violence spread as a result of posts on social media. “The more violent we are, the more they will fear us,” one right-wing protester posted on Telegram.

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Similar posts were also posted on the Telegram account of the far-right Otzma Yehudit Party headed by Defence Minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir.

“They are afraid of the right. They know that a leftist who arrives there with the aim of provocation will be taken out in an ambulance,” another said.

An advertisement for the sale of smoke bombs, explosive cells and firecrackers in Haifa was published in the Ultras Israel group.

Israel’s Walla news site quoted the director of the False Reports group as saying that more than 200 reports of incitement and organisation of violent activities were monitored on the Internet in recent days.

The protests were held following weeks of anti-government demonstrations staged by people who oppose the planned judicial overhaul which many believe will end Israel’s democracy.

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