Protests against the planned reform of the judiciary continue in Israel. Demonstrations took place in 150 places on Saturday. More than 100,000 people gathered at the main rally in Tel Aviv.
In other Israeli cities, protests also gathered crowds of thousands. 30,000 people demonstrated in Haifa and around 13,000 in Herzliya, according to the Ynet portal.
Opposition leader and former prime minister Yair Lapidwho was present at one of the demonstrations, said: “If you hadn’t taken to the streets, the catastrophe would have happened already. Israel would cease to be democratic.
“One day you will tell your grandchildren and great-grandchildren about how in 2023 you marched through the streets wrapped in a flag and saved the state of Israel. How before Independence Day you fought for your country, fought and won” – he added.
The Times of Israel notes that the protests continue despite the temporary halt to work on the reform.
Reform plan put on hold
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced in late March in a speech to the nation that he was temporarily putting his government’s plans for controversial reform on hold to avoid “civil war.” The Prime Minister indicated that the “interruption” would last until the next session of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, which will start on April 30.
After the work on the reform was suspended under the auspices of Israeli President Icchak Herzog, talks began between representatives of the parties forming the government and the opposition regarding the changes planned by the government.
The government led by Netanyahu wants to reform the justice system, which includes increasing the government’s control over the election process of Supreme Court judges, as well as the ability to overturn Supreme Court rulings by a majority of 61 votes in the 120-member parliament. The planned reform has sparked the largest wave of protests in Israel in years.
Main photo source: PAP/EPA/ABIR SULTAN