According to estimates, between 143,000 and 180,000 people took to the streets of Tel Aviv.
Massive demonstrations took place this Saturday night in different parts of Israel, where citizens protest against government reform that would limit the powers of the Judiciary.
This is the 27th consecutive weekend of protests. Some 143,000 people gathered on Tel Aviv’s Kaplan Street, and tens of thousands elsewhere, Israeli television reported, citing data from analytics firm Crowd Solutions. For their part, the organizers put the number of protesters in the city at 180,000.
ISRAEL internal divisionTel Aviv, week 27 of protests against judicial reform. “The disintegration of the state continues. They are not Hilltop Youth, they are a private militia, of fascist anarchists who do not recognize the laws” Omer Barlev, former security minister.@motoreco_okpic.twitter.com/tx9OGT5rME
— lanavecomunica3 (@lanavecomunica3) July 8, 2023
Police used water cannons to disperse a protest that blocked the Ayalon highway in Tel Aviv. At least three people were arrested, collects The Times of Israel.
In parallel, in the town of Amikam, hundreds of demonstrators were located in front of the house of the Israeli Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant.
Protesters have expressed their discontent with plans by the ruling coalition to pass legislation on Monday in first reading that would strip courts of the power to judge government decisions.
For Tuesday, mobilizations have also been called at the national level, with some sectors even urging a protest “never seen in Israel.” Activists vow to fight passage of the legislation with every tool at their disposal.
During a protest event in Tel Aviv, renowned historian Yuval Noah Harari declared that “the time has come to stop the government” of Benjamin Netanyahu for what “it is doing to the Israeli dream.”
“They will see what happens when we are angry,” he warned in case the authorities do not reject the plan.
An aerial view shows protesters as they take part in a demonstration against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his nationalist coalition government’s judicial overhaul, in Tel Aviv, Israel July 8, 2023. REUTERS/Oren Alon pic.twitter.com/TW4tJXVV5v
— קומי ישראל 🇮🇱🏳️🌈👊 (@kumiiisrael) July 8, 2023
- The bill, promoted by Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition, would give the government decisive influence in the selection of judges, limiting the scope of the Supreme Court to repeal laws or rule against the Executive.
- Critics say that would greatly undermine judicial independence, since Israel does not have a constitution, only a parliamentary committee dedicated to such issues and currently controlled by the ruling coalition.