Israelis protest against judicial reforms before new parliament

Thousands of Israelis have gathered in central Tel Aviv for the latest weekly protest against the government’s judicial reform plans just days before legislators return for a new parliament session.

Opponents of the judicial reform bill have kept up demonstrations in the commercial hub and across the country since January, despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu putting the controversial reform programme on ice a month ago.
Netanyahu’s right-wing administration has argued the proposals are necessary to rebalance power between the judiciary and elected officials, while opponents said the changes represent a threat to democracy.

The weekly rallies have repeatedly drawn tens of thousands onto the streets of Tel Aviv. A turnout figure for Saturday was not immediately available.

The protesters gathered against the backdrop of cross-party talks hosted by President Isaac Herzog this month, which have sought to reach a compromise on the reform package.

The negotiations were launched after Netanyahu announced a halt to the legislative process on March 27 “out of a desire to prevent a rift in the nation”, in the face of mass protests and a general strike.

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