Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a televised address Thursday night that he intends to continue his resolve to push for “responsible judicial reforms” and that he will do everything in his power to calm the situation in the country.
Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid immediately said that Netanyahu continues to spread lies and that he is not interested in real dialogue. After the prime minister’s speech, the police dispersed the demonstrators in Tel Aviv with water cannons.
Photo of the situation at 21:00 – Olive mace was fired at demonstrators in the Yitzhak Sde area pic.twitter.com/VrZYccRLpi
– Bar Peleg (@bar_peleg) March 23, 2023
“We cannot allow any disagreement to jeopardize our common future,” Netanyahu said. “I will do everything in my power to calm the situation and achieve cohesion,” he added.
People carrying Israeli flags and banners took to the streets across Israel Thursday morning. protest day translates to “paralysis dayThe protesters disagree with judicial reform, which they say will push the country’s system toward authoritarianism. On Thursday, the Israeli parliament approved the first of several laws that make up the controversial judicial reform.
Parents and children also pretend. Their banners read “Let’s Save Democracy”. The agency reports on the events AP.
In the morning, a group of protesters set tires on fire at the Ashdod port near Tel Aviv, temporarily halting traffic at the port. According to the newspaper “Haaretz,” hundreds of people block roads in the north of the country between Haifa and the port of Acre. The police have already arrested several protesters.
Click for more on Israel’s “National Paralysis Day” protests against judicial reform https://t.co/Hq80jxFf76 pic.twitter.com/2eKGfxEspL
– i24NEWS English (@i24NEWS_EN) March 23, 2023
According to local media, the police expect up to half a million people to attend. Mass protests have raged against the coalition government, which includes far-right and ultra-Orthodox parties, since January.
It first erupted shortly after the government took power in late December and intensified in January after the introduction of a judicial reform proposal that would give the government more influence over the appointment of judges and limit the powers of the Supreme Court.
On Thursday evening, the government coalition headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved a law that protects the prime minister from the consequences of corruption cases and conflicts of interest. Critics say the law was tailor-made for Netanyahu.
Netanyahu denies these accusations. Recently, only the government with a three-fourths majority or the parliament could temporarily dismiss the prime minister, if only because of mental or physical incapacitation. The government defends the law by saying it will bring more “stability”.
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