Massive march in Israel against judicial reform in key week

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It is estimated that About 300,000 people demonstrated on Saturday in Israel for the tenth consecutive week against a judicial reform project which seeks to approve the current government coalition and which even generates international tensions because they see it as a threat to democracy.

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The coalition of far-right and right-wing parties formed in December by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is preparing to press the accelerator on the legislative process on Sunday.

The opposition assures that this reform aims to reduce the influence of the judiciary to the advantage of political power, threatens the separation of powers and the democratic character of Israel.

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However, Netanyahu and his justice minister, Yariv Levin, believe instead that this reform will restore a balance of power between lawmakers and the Supreme Court, which they consider a politicized institution.

As in past weeks, the main demonstration took place this Saturday in central Tel Aviv where, according to media reports, around 100,000 people arrived with blue and white flags.

Protests in Israel have spread across the country.  REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

Protests in Israel have spread across the country. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

In the cities of Haifa (north) and Beersheba (south) attendance records were broken, with 50,000 and 10,000 people respectively, according to media reports.

The police are not disclosing the number of demonstrators in this country of nine million inhabitants.

The chairman of the legislative committee of the Parliament, Simcha Rothman, will hold hearings on the bill from Sunday to Wednesday, in order to respect the timetable established with the justice minister.

The Executive, the most right-wing in the history of the country, wants to approve the main points of the reform by 2 April.

On Thursday, anti-reform sectors held a day of protests with the closure of highways and main entrances in the central region of Israel for about two hours. They even blocked the access route to Ben Gurion International Airport.

Now, protest organizers announced on Saturday that they would try to disrupt Prime Minister Netanyahu’s departure from the country on Wednesday, who plans to travel to Berlin. The measure is similar to an attempt to prevent his trip to Rome this weekend, when cars traveling at a crawl blocked the accesses to the airport. This forced the prime minister to take a helicopter to the airport.

Source: Clarin

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