Protesters pack central Tel Aviv for 17th week in row, slamming Netanyahu’s ‘judicial reforms’

Thousands of protesters have rallied for the 17th consecutive week in central Tel Aviv to condemn Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s controversial and highly unpopular judicial reforms plan.

According to the regime’s Channel 12, a total of around 150,000 demonstrators attended Saturday demonstrations, while Channel 13 put the figure at around 200,000.

“History has its eyes on you,” read a placard held up during the protest, which saw the participants chanting slogans against the premier and setting flares ablaze.

“This struggle gives us strength and it is clear to me that it also reaches the Knesset, and it is clear to them that they will not be able to pass unilateral decisions,” another protester was quoted by AFP as saying.

Israeli forces clashed with protesters in Tel Aviv, arresting a number of anti-Netanyahu demonstrators.

The reforms seek to render the regime’s Supreme Court incapable of canceling politicians’ decisions, while giving the latter more power in selecting the judges.

Netanyahu’s coalition, a combination struck between his Likud Party and extreme-right and ultra-Orthodox political allies, argues the changes are needed to rebalance power between the executive and judicial branches of the regime.

Faced with overwhelming public opposition as well as general strikes, Netanyahu announced a pause last month in his unyielding drive to get the Knesset approve the reforms.

The general public, however, is still skeptical of the premier’s intentions as seen by monumental rallies across the Occupied Territories since January, when the Israeli regime’s cabinet started paving the way for implementation of the changes.

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