In Israel, there is no weakening protest against the reform of the judicial system that the government is trying to impose. For the tenth consecutive week, tens of thousands of protesters gathered again Saturday night in the country.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing and far-right coalition is preparing to speed up the legislative process from Sunday to push through the reform, considered undemocratic by critics.
Gatherings without major incidents
As on previous Saturdays, the main rally took place in central Tel Aviv where demonstrators, numbering more than 100,000 according to media reports, waved a tide of blue and white Israeli flags. The rallies dispersed without major incident. Three protesters blocking traffic on the city's ring road were arrested, police said.
Other demonstrations took place in the main cities of the country. According to Israeli media estimates, Saturday's rallies broke attendance records in the cities of Haifa (north) and Beersheba (south), with 50,000 and 10,000 people respectively, significant figures compared to the Israeli population, just over nine million inhabitants. However, the police do not provide estimates of the number of demonstrators.
The chairman of the Knesset Law Committee, the parliament, Simcha Rothman, has scheduled hearings on this judicial reform bill every day from Sunday to Wednesday. He seems to reject calls to slow down or interrupt the examination of texts to allow compromise negotiations and strictly stick to the timetable he announced with Justice Minister Yariv Levin. The timetable calls for the adoption of key elements of the reform before the end of the Knesset's winter session on April 2.
The President opposes the government
This reform would severely limit the Supreme Court's ability to strike down laws and effectively give the majority political coalition the power to appoint judges. On Thursday night, Israeli President Isaac Herzog called for a halt to the legislative process on the proposed judicial reform, calling it a "threat to the foundations of democracy."
- Benyamin Netanyahou
- Tel Aviv