Conflicts & War

Israelis continue street protests despite pause in justice reform

Jerusalem, Apr 2 (EFE).- Hundreds of thousands of people protested throughout Israel again on Saturday night, despite prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing government delaying controversial judicial reforms that critics say will erode the country’s democracy.

Rallies were held in Tel Aviv, Haifa and other cities, drawing 450,000 people, according to the groups organizing the protests.

Police in Tel Aviv arrested 19 people and used water cannons to disperse demonstrators who were blocking traffic on a highway.

Israel has been gripped by similar mass protests for months, over planned reforms that would give the parliament more control over the country’s judiciary.

The contentious judicial overhaul was postponed by Netanyahu on Monday after massive crowds packed the streets following his announcement to dismiss defense minister Yoav Gallant and a general strike that paralyzed Israel’s public life for several hours.

President Isaac Herzog has been trying to mediate between the government and the opposition to reach a compromise on the proposed changes, while Itamar Ben Gvir, the minister of national security, has pressured Netanyahu to push ahead with the reforms.

The proposed overhaul of the judiciary would allow a simple parliamentary majority to overturn Supreme Court rulings, change the composition of the judge selection committee and restrict the Supreme Court from reviewing and changing basic laws.EFE


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