Angry Israelis head to Knesset on eve of judicial curbs debate


HEMED: Tens of thousands of protesters marched on the main highway into Jerusalem on Saturday evening in a last-ditch show of force aimed at blocking Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s contentious judicial overhaul. The parliament is expected to vote Monday on a measure that would prevent the Supreme Court judges from striking down government decisions on the basis that they are “unreasonable.”

Over 100 top former security chiefs, including retired military commanders, police commissioners and heads of intelligence agencies joined signed a letter to Netanyahu blaming him for compromising Israel’s defence, undermining the Israeli defence forces and urging him to halt the legislation. The signatories included Ehud Barak, a former Israeli prime minister.
The arrival of the marchers turned the city’s main entrance into a sea of blue and white Israeli flags as they completed the last leg of a four-day trek from Tel Aviv to Israel’s parliament. They plan to rally outside Knesset, or parliament ahead of a Sunday debate on the bill, and will camp outside the Knesset with other protesters ahead of the vote.’

Protesters, who make up a wide swath of Israeli society, see the overhaul as a power grab fuelled by variouspersonal and political grievances by Netanyahu.
The proposal has drawn criticism from business and medical leaders, and a fast-rising number of military reservists in key units have said they will stop reporting for duty if the plan passes, raising concern that the country’s security interests could be threatened.

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