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Tens of thousands of Israelis continue anti-gov’t protests | Israel-Palestine conflict News

Protesters are gathering against changes planned by the right-wing Israeli government that will weaken the judiciary.

Tens of thousands of Israelis are protesting across the country against the right-wing government for the fourth week in a row.

The latest rally took place on Saturday, when demonstrators carried Israeli flags on Tel Aviv’s Kaplan Street, chanting “No to dictatorship” and “Democracy.”

As in previous weeks, the protest was directed primarily against the government’s proposed changes that would weaken the judiciary.

According to the plans of Justice Minister Yariv Levin, the majority in parliament should be able to pass the law, even if it, according to the Supreme Court, violates the Basic Law.

Levin also wants to change the composition of the body that appoints judges. Far-reaching changes could also play into the prime minister’s hands.
The hands of Benjamin Netanyahu in his current corruption trial, where he is accused of fraud, breach of trust and corruption.

Netanyahu accuses the Supreme Court of excessive interference in political decisions. Some experts have already warned of the end of democracy in the country if the plans are implemented.

Israel protests
An aerial view shows Israelis demonstrating against proposed changes to the judiciary by Israel’s new right-wing government in Tel Aviv. [File: Oren Alon/Reuters]

The reform, if passed, would be the most radical change to the system of government in Israel. But Netanyahu claims to have received a mandate from millions of voters to bring about judicial reform.

Some protesters also criticized the country’s treatment of the Palestinians.

“No democracy with occupation,” read one of the posters.

Protests against the government have been regularly held for several weeks, and more than 100,000 people gathered in Tel Aviv on January 21.

This week’s protests began after seven people were killed in an attack on a synagogue in occupied East Jerusalem on Friday. On Saturday, a 13-year-old teenager shot and seriously injured two Israelis near the Old City of Jerusalem.

This comes after nine Palestinians were killed and dozens wounded on Thursday in an Israeli military operation in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin. In total, Israeli forces have killed 32 Palestinians this month.

The deadly Israeli raid has sparked grief and anger in the besieged Gaza Strip. Rockets were fired at Israel, and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack.

They were shot down early Friday by Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system, and Israel launched airstrikes on places in Gaza that it says are being used by armed groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Netanyahu’s security cabinet, made up of hardline politicians with ties to the illegal settlement movement in the occupied West Bank, on Saturday approved punitive measures against Palestinians in response to a pair of shellings.

Netanyahu’s office said the Security Cabinet had agreed to seal the attacker’s house just before it was demolished. He also plans to eliminate social security benefits for the attackers’ families, make it easier for Israelis to obtain gun licenses, and step up efforts to collect what he considers “illegal” weapons.

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