Protest organizers claim that a total of more than 630,000 Israelis attended the demonstrations. The main rally took place in Tel Aviv, where some 200,000 people attended the main rally held on Kaplan Street. Tens of thousands of people also took part in protests in many other places across the country, including major cities like Jerusalem, Haifa and Beersheba.
Protesters ran in large numbers on the Ayalon Highway in Tel Aviv, blocking traffic for several hours. Police used water cannons to disperse protesters in the city, 32 of whom were detained when officers tried to move them out of the way. On Route 65 in northern Israel, police said protesters were detained for disorderly conduct, including throwing firecrackers at police officers, while hundreds of people blocked the Karkur intersection. The legal aid group claimed that nine people were arrested at this demonstration. Three were arrested in Jerusalem, bringing the total number of arrests across the country to 44.
Speaking at a major rally in Tel Aviv, historian Yuval Noah Harari said civil servants and the military should be subject to the courts, not the government, if Israel finds itself in a constitutional crisis. Addressing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Harari said: “We know that you are responsible for everything that happens. After 2,000 years, we still remember Pharaoh. And we will remember you. There will be no streets, squares, airports named after him.” . you, but we will tell the story of a man who tried to enslave us and failed.”
Speaking at the same rally, Shikma Bressler, a world-renowned physicist and protest leader who was arrested during a demonstration earlier this week, said the government’s plan to seize control of the committee to select judges “is the first token dominoes on the road to dictatorship”. .” Sophie Ben-Dor, daughter of famed Israeli spy Eli Cohen, said she never got over the loss of her father, but was comforted to learn that he gave his life for a moral and democratic state. Addressing Netanyahu directly to Calling for the review law to be dropped, he said: “He has lost his way. He has lost the confidence of the masses of the people. It wants unlimited power for its own narrow interests. We want humble and transparent leadership. Fair leadership that serves all the people,” Ben-Dor added.
As speakers addressed the protesters, it emerged that Israeli Defense Minister Gallant had called on Netanyahu to repeal the controversial law. The announcement marked the first public opposition by a senior cabinet member to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s reform. Referring to the need for dialogue with the opposition, Gallant expressed concern that plans for a radical reform of the judiciary pose a threat to the country’s security. “I’m not getting involved in this,” Gallant said. His statement marks the first crack in the coalition of Netanyahu, the most right-wing government in Israel’s history, the Associated Press reports. Attorney General Ghali Baharav-Miara told the prime minister on Friday that he had breached a conflict of interest agreement and that any further involvement in the coalition’s judicial reform would be “an illegal and tainted conflict of interest,” the Times said. of Israel.
The Netanyahu government’s coalition of right-wing, ultra-nationalist and ultra-Orthodox parties has moved forward with a bill aimed at weakening the court’s ability to control parliament, as well as giving the Israeli cabinet control over the appointment of judges. For almost three months, massive weekly protests against the planned legislation took place and a wave of objections grew from senior public figures, including the president, lawyers, business leaders and many other prominent figures in Israel. In recent weeks, a growing number of Israeli reservists have threatened to withdraw from voluntary service, one of Netanyahu’s main concerns as he pushes for reforms while he stands trial for corruption. On Sunday it became known about the refusal of some 200 Israeli Air Force pilots in protest to carry out training flights.