Crime & Justice

Anti-judicial reform protests continue for 34th weekend in a row

Jerusalem, Aug 26 (EFE).- Thousands of Israelis took to the streets to protest against the ultra right-wing government’s controversial judicial reforms for a 34th consecutive weekend in Tel Aviv and other regions in Saturday evening.

The demonstrators showed up in the middle of the summer recess with no parliamentary activity as public anger rises against the judicial overhaul proposed by the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

People staged demonstrations in various regions and cities, demanding the government to cancel the plan, which, according to its critics, restricts the oversight powers of the Supreme Court.

The controversial reform abolished the reasonability doctrine, which allowed the top court to review and overturn government decisions.

Protestors also decried the surge in violence, encompassing shootings and other crimes to target the minority Arab-Israeli society.

Palestinians with Israeli citizenship form around 21 percent of the population of Israel.

Amid heightened violence, nearly 160 Arab-Israelis have died so far this year.

The Arab-Israelis have been complaining of discrimination by Israeli institutions for years.

The demonstrators lamented what they consider a poor and mild response from the government to the situation.

The Kaplan Street rally in Tel Aviv included a keynote Arab speaker, Tira Mayor Mamoun Abd al-Hay.

The mayor’s address comes after Tira municipal director Abdel Rahman Kashua was shot dead in the central city on Monday.

Some 100,000 people gathered in the city, the nerve center of the demonstrations against the judicial reform.

The protest movement transcends traditional divides within Israeli society, uniting secular and liberal factions in a shared cause.

The protesters have included other demands, such as the rights of women and minorities like the Arabs in Israel.

On Thursday, a group of some 1,000 people demonstrated in the city of Bnei Brak, with an ultra-Orthodox Jewish majority, demanding the women’s rights and condemning recent indications of gender discrimination like segregation in public transport.

Criticism was directed toward the ruling coalition, comprised of ultra-Orthodox parties led by Netanyahu.

Notably, this coalition includes far-right elements, including Itamar Ben Gvir’s Jewish Power, an extremist Jewish and anti-Arab party.

Ben Gvir serves as the national security minister, overseeing the Israeli Police.

During a recent interview, Ben Gvir stirred controversy by asserting that Israelis’ freedom of movement in the occupied West Bank supersedes that of Palestinians, a statement vehemently denounced by protestors. EFE


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