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Business News/ News / World/  Netanyahu's party mounts pressure on him to halt judicial overhaul, protests continue for 12th week
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Netanyahu's party mounts pressure on him to halt judicial overhaul, protests continue for 12th week

Dissent from the premier's own party and cabinet has compounded months of unprecedented mass protests by Israelis who fear the package of reforms could endanger court independence.

FILE PHOTO: An aerial view shows Israelis protesting, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's nationalist coalition government presses on with its judicial overhaul, in Tel Aviv, Israel (REUTERS)Premium
FILE PHOTO: An aerial view shows Israelis protesting, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's nationalist coalition government presses on with its judicial overhaul, in Tel Aviv, Israel (REUTERS)

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu-led government found itself on a controversial position, as the massive protests in the country continued for the 12th week. Israel's defense minister Yoav Gallant has called upon the government to stop the controversial judicial overhaul legislation. 

"The security of the State of Israel is my life’s mission. Over the course of my entire adult life, I have dealt with Israel’s security day in and day out," Gallant, Netanyahu's close aide, said on Saturday.

"I declare loudly and publicly, for the sake of Israel’s security, for the sake of our sons and daughters – the legislative process should be stopped," he asserted, pointing to the visible diminishing morale of the Army he could sense that is endangering Israel's security and unity.

Gallant's defiant call seemed to galvanise other conscientious leaders in the party with three more, Yuli Edelstein, David Bitan and Avi Dichter, coming forward to demand to stall the process.

A top lawmaker from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party echoed on Sunday a call by the defence chief to pause a contested judicial overhaul, and raised the possibility that the government's parliamentary majority could be eroded.

Dissent from the premier's own party and cabinet has compounded months of unprecedented mass protests by Israelis who fear the package of reforms could endanger court independence.

Netanyahu, who is on trial on graft charges that he denies, says the overhaul will balance out the branches of government.

A key bill effectively giving his religious-nationalist coalition more control over the appointment of judges is expected to be brought ratification this week in the Knesset, where he and his allies wield 64 out of 120 seats.

The revamp includes enabling Parliament to overrule decisions made by the Supreme Court - a move that critics say will undermine the independence of the judiciary and could be used for political ends.

But how - or even whether - that as yet-unscheduled vote will proceed has been thrown into question by Likud dissenters, reports Reuters

However, if the four decide to vote against the proposals then the government will not have the majority required to pass the legislation.

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Published: 26 Mar 2023, 08:12 PM IST
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