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Friday, March 1, 2024

Israeli opposition to legal reform shows no signs of slowing

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Israeli demonstrations against the government’s plan to overhaul the judiciary continued Saturday, despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to halt the controversial proposals.

Tens of thousands of people took part in the main protest held in the central city of Tel Aviv, while smaller demonstrations took place across the country.

Protest organizers, who have organized these weekly protests for more than three months, aim to keep up the momentum and increase pressure on Netanyahu and his government until the proposed changes are rescinded.

Bowing to mass protests, Netanyahu halted the overhaul plans in March, saying he wanted to “avoid civil war.”

The plan would give Netanyahu, who is facing trial on corruption charges, and his allies in Israel’s most hardline government the final say in appointing the country’s judges. It would also give parliament, which is controlled by its allies, the right to overturn Supreme Court decisions and limit the court’s ability to review laws.

Opponents say it would destroy a system of checks and balances by concentrating power in the hands of Netanyahu and his allies in parliament. They also say that Netanyahu has a conflict of interest at a time when he is on trial.

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