MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik – 02nd April, 2023) At least 19 demonstrators were arrested in Tel Aviv during the mass protest against the controversial judicial reform that was put on hold earlier this week, The Times of Israel reports.
The protesters were arrested for allegedly disturbing public order, the newspaper said on Saturday. One protester was arrested while carrying a taser.
A female protester was struck by a mounted policeman with a baton, The Times of Israel said. Police used water cannons to clear protesters who had blocked the Ayalon Highway in Tel Aviv.
Earlier on Saturday, The Times of Israel said citing the organizers of the mass demonstrations that as many as 450,000 people rallied throughout the country, with 230,000 in Tel Aviv alone.
In January, Israeli Justice Minister Yariv Levin rolled out a legal reform package that would limit the authority of the Supreme Court by giving the cabinet control over the selection of new judges, as well as allowing the Knesset to override the court’s rulings with an absolute majority. .
The reform’s opponents argue that it will undermine democracy in Israel and put the country on the verge of a social and constitutional crisis.
For the last three months, tens of thousands of people have been protesting throughout Israel against the reform. On Monday, after long and hard talks with his coalition partners, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to put the legislation on hold until the summer session of the Knesset. Despite this fact, the protests’ organizers, wary that the controversial law may be swiftly put to a vote, pledged to continue rallying until the planned reform is scrapped altogether.
After US President Joe Biden called on Netanyahu to abandon his plans to advance the judicial reform in Israel, the Israeli prime minister said on Twitter on Wednesday that his country was going to make decisions based on the Israeli people’s will, and not pressure from abroad.