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Protests continue in Israel over suspension of judicial reform

Thousands of Israelis demonstrated in Tel Aviv on Saturday for a 13th straight week against a controversial judicial overhaul now frozen by the government as talks are underway with party officials.

Carrying Israeli flags, people marched through the center of Israel’s commercial hub, chanting “democracy” and holding signs condemning Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s far-right government.

Smaller gatherings were held in other towns.

Reforms on hold

Protests erupted in January after the coalition announced its reform package, which the government says is needed to rebalance power between lawmakers and the judiciary.

The proposed reforms would reduce the authority of the Supreme Court and give politicians greater powers over the selection of judges, which opponents say could jeopardize Israeli democracy.

On Monday, Netanyahu announced a “pause” in passing needed legislation through parliament, in the face of a crippling general strike sparked by his announcement that he was firing Defense Minister Yoav Gallant for calling such a pause.

Herzog seeks to find a solution

On Tuesday, representatives of most parliamentary parties began talks at President Isaac Herzog’s residence to try to formulate legislation that would be acceptable to both sides of the political spectrum.

Many political commentators and opposition figures have expressed skepticism about the chances of Herzog’s mediation efforts, with the coalition saying it will complete the legislation in the next parliamentary session if the talks break down.

Meanwhile, Netanyahu failed to present Gallant with the legally required dismissal letter, so the defense minister carried out his duties as usual.

euronews Gt

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