Thousands of Israelis strike in protest against a judicial reform

Israelis wave national flags during protest against plans by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's new government to overhaul the judicial system,
Israelis wave national flags during protest against plans by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's new government to overhaul the judicial system, Copyright Ohad Zwigenberg/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.
By Euronews with AP
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Tens of thousands gathered in front of the Israeli Parliament protesting against the government's controversial planned judicial reform, chanting "No to judicial reform, save Israeli democracy".

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Tens of thousands gathered in front of the Israeli Parliament to protest against the government's planned judicial reform, chanting "No to judicial reform, save Israeli democracy".

“We will not stay quiet as they destroy everything that is precious and sacred to us,” opposition leader Yair Lapid told protesters.

Benjamin Netanyahu and his government are proposing a reform which seeks to limit the powers of the courts. He claims the legislative changes would rein in alleged judicial corruption, increase diversity on the bench and curb what he perceived to be "activist judges". 

However, protestors say he is merely trying to avoid prosecution and seeks to weaken Israel's Supreme Court, which many Israelis consider the last bastion of their democracy.

Netanyahu's critics say the proposed reform will damage the country’s fragile system of democratic checks and balances.

They also say the PM, who is on trial for corruption charges, is motivated by a personal grudge against the legal system and has a deep conflict of interest.

On Monday, opposition deputies walked out of a parliamentary committee in protest against the proposed formed. 

They disrupted proceedings shouting "Shame, shame!"

Despite calls for calm and dialogue from US president Joe Biden and Israeli President Isaac Herzog, members of the government coalition voted to send the first two bills before parliament.

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