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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Protests in Israel, changes in the judiciary. Defense Minister appeals to Prime Minister Netanyahu

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Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant issued a statement in which he called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to stop work on changes in the judiciary, the portal of the daily “Jerusalem Post” reported. Saturday is another day of demonstrations of many thousands organized in protest against the government’s decisions, including increasing the authorities’ control over the selection of Supreme Court judges.

Joaw Galant appealed to the prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to work out a compromise. He also asked the opposition to stop strikes by armed forces reservists and protests against the government.

“The division in the nation has penetrated deep into the armed forces and those high up in the defense forces – a clear and serious security threat. Israel. I will not allow it,” the minister said, quoted by the Jerusalem Post.

“I have risked my life for Israel and I will continue to risk it,” said Minister Galant. He added that threats to the Israeli state continue to grow because Iran is close to acquiring nuclear weapons, and the conflict with Palestine is getting worse.

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Protests in IsraelPAP/EPA/ABIR SULTAN

Defense Minister about the split in society and the army

The minister emphasized that although the Israeli armed forces are “magnificent”, due to the planned changes in the judiciary, “something has broken in them in recent weeks.” He said that the rift that divides society has not spared the army, which is weakening its combat capability.

“Defence Minister Joaw Galant has taken bold and necessary steps for the security of the state of Israel,” said the leader of the opposition Yair Lapid. “Judicial reform seriously harms national security, and it is his job and responsibility to stop the dangerous deterioration of the situation,” the former prime minister added, quoted by the Jerusalem Post.

Protests in IsraelPAP/EPA/ABIR SULTAN

The police detain the protesterPAP/EPA/ABIR SULTAN

Changes in the judiciary

The government, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, wants to introduce changes to the judiciary, which include increasing government control over the process of selecting Supreme Court judges, as well as the ability to overturn Supreme Court decisions by a majority of 61 votes in the 120-seat parliament. The head of the Israeli government said on Thursday that he would put aside all other matters and “do whatever it takes” to resolve the conflict between opponents of the reform and the government.

Protests in IsraelPAP/EPA/ABIR SULTAN

The plans are causing Israel to face its biggest wave of protests in years. As a result of a deep rift in Israeli society, tens of thousands of demonstrators are taking to the streets of cities, arguing that the changes introduced by the government are not democratic.

An increasing number of Israeli reservists say they will not serve in the army if the announced changes to the judiciary are implemented.

Main photo source: PAP/EPA/ABIR SULTAN

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