Some 100,000 protesting judicial reforms outside Israeli Knesset
Israelis are still protesting against their government and the changes that were made to the judicial system as tensions mount between the opposition and the ruling coalition.
Around 100,000 Israelis gathered outside the Knesset in occupied Al-Quds on Monday to protest Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's judicial reform plans, organizers said.
Israeli settlers have been for months taking to the streets in the thousands to protest the government's judiciary reforms.
The Israeli occupation's Justice Minister Yariv Levin rolled out a legal reform package that would limit the authority of the High Court of Justice and give the cabinet control over the selection of new judges.
The planned overhaul drew public criticism and prompted a wave of mass protests, with protestors on Saturday marching along "Ibn Gabirol" Street, with the city center closed to traffic due to the number of settlers filling the street, Sputnik reported.
"We can already declare a huge success. [The number of protesters is] approaching 100,000 in the Knesset [parliament] area. This is a huge force of civil resistance to a coup. At the moment of truth, the people of Israel stood up to stop the danger to Israeli democracy," the organizers said on Twitter.
Independent estimates say demonstrators in the Knesset area number around 70,000-80,000 people. Moreover, thousands of cars and people on public transport continue to flock to Al-Quds to express their opposition to judicial reform, Israeli media reported.
The Knesset granted its approval to the controversial judicial reform, allowing the bill to pass on the first reading.
Opposition leader and former Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said that the government aims to "tear Israel apart" with its efforts to hold the first reading.
Meanwhile, former Security Minister Benny Gantz addressed the protesters and expressed support for their struggle "for democracy and for the country."
The demonstrators have been chantinng against the new Israeli occupation government and some of its extremist ministers such as Police Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and Finance Minister Betzalel Smotrich.
Following his November 1 election win, Netanyahu took office late last month at the head of a coalition with far-right and Zionist parties, some of whose officials now head key ministries. The new occupation government has announced intentions to pursue a policy of settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank.
Illustrating the increasingly stark division between Israelis, the president of Israeli occupation’s Supreme Court, Esther Hayut, lashed out at the "judicial reform plan" proposed by Netanyahu's cabinet, stressing that it "would crush the justice system."
Political divisions in "Israel" between the government and the opposition are escalating in light of the exchange of accusations of responsibility for the possible outbreak of an "internal war".
Former Israeli occupation Security Minister Benny Gantz called on Israelis to take to the streets in protest of changes to the Israeli judicial system.
Additionally, Hayet began her speech at a conference of the Israeli Association of Public Law, likely the harshest speech ever delivered by a serving Supreme Court president against a ruling coalition, by noting that "the new justice minister presented a lightning plan for far-reaching changes in the justice system."
"In practice," she charges, "it amounts to an unrestrained attack on the justice system, as though it was an enemy that had to be rushed and defeated."
"With great cynicism, the architects of the plan call it a plan to correct the judicial system.’ And I say, it is a plan to crush the judicial system. It is intended to deliver a fatal blow to the independence and autonomy of the judicial system and silence it" she added.