According to organizers, there were about 258,000 attendees in Tel Aviv, while there were also protests in Jerusalem, Haifa, and Kfar Saba in the city’s center.
Israeli protesters thronged Tel Aviv late on Saturday to voice their opposition to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s proposals to reform the judiciary. Despite the process being put on hold, the protest was still well attended.
The organizers estimated that there were about 258,000 attendees, but the police did not provide any numbers.
A day prior to the protest, an alleged car-ramming attack on the city’s seafront left one Italian visitor dead and seven other tourists injured.
Since Israeli police entered Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque on Wednesday after allegedly finding Palestinians barricaded inside, there has been an increase in violence.
On Saturday, protesters carried placards that read, “Netanyahu is leading us to war,” “Save democracy,” and “Freedom for all.”.
The central city of Kfar Saba, in the northern city of Haifa, and in the capital city of Jerusalem all saw additional, smaller demonstrations.
Since the reform plans were announced in January by Netanyahu‘s government, which was established in December, thousands, sometimes tens of thousands, of protesters have been taking to the streets each week.
On 27 Walk, he declared a “stop” to consider exchange on the changes which were moving through parliament and split the country.
Netanyahu last month had declared the terminating of his defence minister, Yoav Gallant, who refered to a danger to public safety in light of the fact that “the developing social break” had advanced into the military and security agencies.
The plans would give politicians more control over the selection of judges and reduce the Supreme Court’s authority.
The government, which is a coalition of Netanyahu’s Likud party and extreme-right and ultra-Orthodox Jewish allies, argues that the changes are necessary to rebalance the powers between lawmakers and the judiciary. However, opponents have raised concerns regarding Israel’s democracy.
Just prior to the pause, Israel’s attorney general had cautioned Netanyahu against intervening in judicial reforms due to conflicts of interest. The prime minister denies the allegations against him, which include bribery, fraud, and breach of trust.
No Sign of Calm
Netanyahu put the overhaul on hold on Monday in order to make room for negotiations on a compromise between his religious-nationalist coalition and opposition parties in the face of domestic upheaval and Washington’s expressions of concern and disapproval.
Prior, Netanyahu had declared that he was terminating Safeguard Clergyman Yoav Courageous for calling for simply such a respite. The terminating had set off a devastating general strike.
By Tuesday, representatives from most of the parties in parliament had begun meeting at President Isaac Herzog’s house to try to come up with legislation that would please both parties.
Herzog’s mediation efforts have been questioned by a number of political commentators and opposition figures, and the coalition has stated that it will complete legislation during the next parliamentary session if talks fail.