Rallies against Netanyahu's 'judicial reform' enter 7th week
The judicial reforms aim to allow the Knesset and the executive body to circumvent the Supreme Court's decisions.
Ahead of a parliamentary vote to overturn the occupation's judicial system scheduled on Monday, rallies held across several parts of the occupied territories entered their seventh consecutive week today as demonstrators continue to protest Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's 'judicial reforms'.
According to organizers, about 135,000 protested in "Tel Aviv" and 98,845 in other cities throughout the occupied territories, including in "Netanya" and occupied Al-Quds, where hundreds have held protests outside the regime's president Isaac Herzog's residence.
ההפגנה בתל אביב, נכון לשעה 20:00. צילום: תומר אפלבאום @tomerappelbaum @Haaretz pic.twitter.com/go8buEB9HB— Noa Landau נעה לנדאו (@noa_landau) February 18, 2023
The judicial reforms are aimed at strengthening the Knesset, "Israel's" parliament, as well as the executive body, in order to circumvent the Supreme Court's decisions.
They will also provide more leverage to lawmakers in the appointment of judges.
Protestors argue that Netanyahu aims to use the reforms in order to deflect a series of charges against him that date back to 2019, charges which include fraud, bribery and breach of trust, whereas the opposition in "Israel" condemned the reforms as a means of "canceling the courts."
Opposition leader Yair Lapid effectively pointed out that the reforms are intended for the premier to escape ongoing corruption trials.
"The fact they have a majority in parliament doesn't mean...they can erase the Supreme Court just because the prime minister has been indicted," Lapid said.
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Netanyahu's supporters have argued that opposition to the reforms is tied to the opposition's inability to accept last November's electoral defeat.
On Saturday, Justice Minister Yariv Levin told Israeli TV Channel 13, "I'm determined to complete the legislation," adding he would not fall for "threats and dictations from the street."
The occupation's President has called on Netanyahu's government to suspend the reforms and hold talks with the opposition in hopes of reaching a middle ground. Although the cabinet did not rule out dialogue, it refused to suspend or postpone the vote on the reforms.
Amid ongoing protests against Netanyahu's extremist cabinet, the occupation's former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett warned on February 14 of a "civil war in 'Israel'" and urged for negotiations to be held on Netanyahu's amendments to the judicial system.
"A settlement can be reached regarding the judicial amendments," Bennett said. "There are things that must be fixed and changed, but we should not go from one extreme to another."
"The majority wants amendments, not a change of the system," Benett added, warning of civil war breaking out "over nothing".
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