Thousands of Israelis took to the streets of Jerusalem and other cities across the country on Saturday to protest against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s proposed reforms to the country’s judicial system.
The demonstrators called for an end to Netanyahu’s proposed reforms which they say will weaken the independence of the judiciary and increase the prime minister’s power. The protesters also expressed opposition to what they consider to be the prime minister’s autocratic rule and his alleged corruption.
The protests, which were organised by the Movement for Quality Government, a non-partisan organisation dedicated to government accountability, were attended by a broad spectrum of Israeli society, including students, lawyers, and members of the opposition.
At least one protester was arrested by police during the demonstration.
The proposed reforms, which would allow the government to appoint judges to the Supreme Court and other judicial bodies, have been widely criticised by human rights organisations and legal experts. The reforms are also seen as a way for Netanyahu to stay in power following the upcoming general election in March.
The protests come just days after the Knesset passed a controversial bill that would restrict the ability of police to publish recommendations on whether or not to indict public officials. The bill is widely seen as another attempt by Netanyahu and his government to limit the power of the police and judiciary.