Israeli President Yitzhak Herzog has called on the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to abandon the controversial judicial reform. Instead, the government should seek reforms that have broad support, he said in a televised address on Thursday.

There is agreement on most issues of reform, although not all, Herzog said. "Certainly enough to abandon the currently proposed legislation and instead put another agreed draft up for discussion."

For weeks, the country has been shaken by mass protests against the reform plans. On Thursday, opponents of the project blocked the main airport to prevent a foreign trip Netanyahu and the visit of US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.

Netanyahu's opponents accuse him and his coalition of deliberately weakening the judiciary and undermining democracy with the reform. The US and the German government also expressed concern. Among other things, the government wants to use the reform to strengthen its influence in the selection of judges and limit the powers of the Supreme Court to overturn laws.