Israel protests intensify as president calls for stop to judicial reform

An overhaul of Israel’s judicial system has led to widespread protests after PM Netanyahu sacked his defence minister for wanting to pause the reform

Photo: Anshel Pfeffer/Twitter
Photo: Anshel Pfeffer/Twitter

Calls for a general strike are looming over Israel on Monday as people protest a controversial judicial reform that would weaken the country’s Supreme Court.

Flights have been suspended after workers at Ben Gurion Airport went on strike, with the Israel Medical Association and the Federation of Local Authorities also joining the walkout.

Meanwhile, thousands of protestors took to Israel’s streets overnight after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired his defence minister after criticizing the reforms.

The judicial overhaul that caused this all would allow parliament to override any Supreme Court decisions through a basic majority.

The reform would also give government full control over the committee that appoints judges to the judicial bench.

Things came to a head after Defence Minister Yoav Galant called for a halt in the reform on Saturday, saying that members of the Israeli Defence Forces were disappointed by the plan.

After this, Netanyahu sacked Galant citing a lack of faith in him as defence minister.

Widespread protests broke out overnight, with demonstrators gathering outside Netanyahu’s home in Jerusalem.