Israelis Protest Prime Minister Netanyahu's Judicial Overhaul Plan and Cabinet Shake-Up

(MENAFN) Tens of thousands of Israelis took to the streets of cities across the country on Sunday night in a spontaneous outburst of anger after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu abruptly fired his defense minister for challenging the Israeli leader's judicial overhaul plan. The unrest deepened a months-long crisis over Netanyahu's plan to overhaul the judiciary, which has sparked mass protests, alarmed business leaders and former security chiefs, and drawn concern from the United States and other close allies.

The firing of Defense Minister Yoav Gallant signaled that the prime minister and his allies will barrel ahead this week with the overhaul plan, despite deep divisions that are threatening to weaken the military. This move angered protesters who blocked a main highway in Tel Aviv and lit large bonfires, while police scuffled with demonstrators who gathered outside Netanyahu's private home in Jerusalem.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog also called for an immediate halt to the government's controversial plan, following the large demonstrations in Tel Aviv. And as droves of protesters flooded the streets late into Sunday night, Likud ministers began indicating a willingness to hit the brakes. Culture Minister Micky Zohar, a Netanyahu confidant, said the party would support him if he decided to pause the judicial overhaul.

However, Avi Dichter, a former chief of the Shin Bet security agency, is expected to replace Gallant, despite reportedly flirting with joining him. The move has raised concerns among critics of the judicial overhaul plan, who believe it undermines the very foundation of Israel's democratic system and threatens the rule of law in the country.

The situation is being closely monitored by the international community, with the United States expressing deep concern over the developments in Israel. The U.S. National Security Council has urged Israeli leaders to find a compromise and pursue fundamental changes to the democratic system with the broadest possible base of popular support.

The protests, cabinet shake-up, and ongoing crisis over the judicial overhaul plan illustrate the challenges facing Netanyahu's government and the deep divisions within Israeli society. The outcome of the situation remains uncertain, and the potential for further unrest remains. The situation highlights the need for dialogue and compromise to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict.



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