Thousands of Israelis staged fresh nationwide protests after sunset on Saturday, following a week of unrest over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s push to pass a controversial law limiting the powers of the Supreme Court.
Protesters took to the streets this evening waving flags, beating drums and blaring horns in separate places in Israel, from a remote intersection in the green hills of the Galilee in the north to the streets of Tel Aviv.
The judicial amendments being pushed by Netanyahu and the right-wing government, the first part of which was approved by the Knesset on Monday, have sparked an unprecedented crisis and deeply divided society, as the protests entered their thirtieth week.
The Israeli government’s plan also shook the commitment of some reservists to respond to call-up orders, while stern warnings of the plan’s economic fallout came from credit rating agencies.
Political watch groups have appealed to the Supreme Court to overturn the new law, which removes the court’s power to overturn what it considers “unreasonable” decisions by the government and ministers.
The court said it would hear arguments against the law in September, paving the way for a constitutional showdown.
The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to downplay the impact of the new law, which was approved after days of rowdy debate in parliament in a vote boycotted by the opposition, and is one of the amendments the government says are necessary to balance the branches of power.
Critics say Netanyahu threatens the principles of democracy and the independence of the courts in Israel, perhaps given the corruption case he faces.
Netanyahu on the other hand, denies this, as he denies the charges against him.