For a fifth consecutive week, Israelis are protesting against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's new right-wing coalition and his judicial reform plan aimed at reducing the powers of the Supreme Court.
Thousands of people demonstrated Saturday in the center of Tel Aviv for the fifth consecutive week against the controversial judicial reforms envisaged by the government of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
Waving the blue and white Israeli flag, many demonstrators took to Kaplan Street in the city center, carrying signs that read that the new government is a threat to world peace. Another sign carried a call to save Israel's democracy from Netanyahu.
Protests have been held every Saturday night since Netanyahu's government took office in December .
According to local media, rallies were held in 20 cities across the country on Saturday, adding that tens of thousands had gathered in Tel Aviv.
Asked by AFP, Israeli police did not provide any figures on the number of protesters.
Israelis protest Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's new right-wing coalition in Tel Aviv.
44-year-old protester Dania Shwartz told AFP that protesters were reclaiming the Israeli flag.
If you look around you there are a lot of Israeli flags and for many years the Israeli flag has been a symbol of the right, for no reason […] We are patriots and we want this country to continue to grow. #x27;exist. Israeli flags belong to all of us, it's not a matter of being right or left, she said.
This new government will try to pass laws that will affect my children, she added.
We will save our country because that we do not want to live in an undemocratic country, said former Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, who was in the crowd of protesters on Saturday evening, according to a video posted on social networks.
Benyamin Netanyahu returned in December to head the government combining right-wing, far-right and ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties, the most right-wing in the history of Israel.
At the beginning of January, Minister of Justice Yariv Levin announced a reform plan including the introduction of a derogation clause allowing Parliament to overturn by a simple majority a decision of the Supreme Court.
This reform aims to increase the power of elected officials over that of magistrates and, according to its detractors, jeopardizes the democratic character of the State of Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. (File photo)
Also in January, Mr. Netanyahu was forced, under pressure from justice, to dismiss the number two of the government Arie Dery, convicted of tax evasion.
At the end of December, the deputies voted a text, baptized the Dery law by the press, authorizing a person convicted of a crime, but not sentenced to prison, to to sit in government.
The Supreme Court criticized this law and found that the appointment of Mr. Dery was in serious contradiction with the fundamental principles of the rule of law.< /p>
Mr. Netanyahu himself is on trial for corruption in several cases and his trial is underway. In Israel, the prime minister does not have any legal immunity, but does not have to resign or step down while his trial is pending.
The government further announced its intention to pursue a policy of settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank, as well as social reforms that have worried the LGBTQ community.