Israelis took to the streets of cities across the country on Saturday, now for the 11th week, to protest against plans by the far-right government to curtail the powers of the Supreme Court, which critics see as a threat to the independence of the judiciary.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who says his goal is to balance the branches of government, commands a majority in the Knesset and his allies in the national religious coalition, but the planned judicial reform is causing concern at home and abroad.
With the ratification of the changes imminent, protests escalated, affecting the economy, the shekel fell, and the matter extended to threatening some reservists not to respond to summons.
The Israeli President Isaac Herzog demanded a delay in reform and presented an alternative plan for the changes on Wednesday, which the prime minister promptly rejected.
Netanyahu, who returned to office for a sixth term in late December, said the demonstrations aimed to oust him.
Netanyahu is being tried in three corruption cases and denies any wrongdoing.
Earlier in the day (Saturday), protesters demonstrated in a village in the center of the country where far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir was spending the weekend.
“Protest against me as you wish… I will fight for your right to protest, but why gather in front of synagogue windows with loudspeakers and trumpets and shouting… and violating the sanctity of the Sabbath?”
The protests spread to the occupied West Bank, where more than 50 protesters chanted traditional Jewish songs while carrying Israeli flags at a crossroads in the center of the West Bank town of Efrat.