Several thousand people demonstrate Monday morning in Jerusalem in front of the Israeli Parliament against a bill to reform the judicial system likely to increase the grip of political power on justice.
Holding placards reading 'Save Israeli democracy', protesters shout their displeasure as the Law Commission begins to vote on some provisions of the bill presented by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government, paving the way for a first-reading vote .
The organizers of the protest movement consider that this reform jeopardizes the democratic character of the State of Israel and also called for a national strike on Monday.
Mr. Netanyahu returned to power at the end of December by taking the head of one of the most right-wing governments in the history of Israel, resulting from an alliance between his party, the Likud (right), extreme parties right and ultra-Orthodox Jewish groups.
In early January, Justice Minister Yariv Levin announced a justice reform project against which tens of thousands of people demonstrate every Saturday evening, mainly in Tel Aviv, but also in Jerusalem or Haifa (northern Israel). .
The bill aims to increase the power of elected officials over that of magistrates and would significantly limit the ability of the Supreme Court to invalidate laws and government decisions.
A "derogation" clause would thus allow Parliament to overturn by a simple majority a decision of the Supreme Court, which Mr. Netanyahu and his allies consider politicized.
Mr. Netanyahu himself is on trial for corruption in several cases. If adopted, the reform could be used to quash a possible conviction, say its detractors.
On Sunday evening, Israeli President Isaac Herzog addressed the nation in a televised address and called for dialogue to end the "polarization" that he says is dividing the country.
“It is possible to reach a consensus,” he said, proposing to suspend the current legislative process in order to conduct discussions between the different parties.
13/02/2023 12:16:19 - Jerusalem (AFP) - © 2023 AFP