“Civil Disobedience Day” demonstrations against the government in Israel

While the government in Israel progresses step by step to pass the controversial judicial regulation through the Parliament, the actions of groups that consider this as “intervention in the judiciary” are increasing throughout the country, leaving behind 9 weeks.

The demonstrators gathered in groups of hundreds of people in many cities across the country, especially in Tel Aviv, within the framework of today’s action, which was called before.

Calls for protests planned by activist groups to disrupt daily life, such as road closures; It was reflected in the Israeli press with titles such as “Day of Resistance Against the Dictatorship”, “Day of Resistance” and “Day of Civil Disobedience”.

Demonstrations in Tel Aviv, thinking that the judicial regulation poses a threat to the separation of powers in the country and that it would harm the democratic structure, chanted “Democracy” slogans.


Protesters block Tel Aviv highway to traffic

The Israeli police took intense security measures with TOMA and mounted police due to the protests.

Thousands of protesters crossed the police barricades on Tel Aviv’s main streets and came to the city’s most central Ayalon Highway and closed the road to traffic in both directions.

[Fotoğraf: AA]

The police intervened by beating some demonstrators blocking the road.

The Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation (KAN) described the police’s intervention on the demonstrators as “dangerous police violence”.

In West Jerusalem, a group of demonstrators gathered in front of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s home.

Another group came to the headquarters of the right-wing non-governmental organization Kohelet in West Jerusalem, which is also a supporter of the Netanyahu government, and tried to block the entrance to this place. Demonstrators threw fake dollar bills at those who were leaving the centre.

The protest actions that spread to the streets are also carried out at sea.

Dozens of yachts, boats and canoes on the coast of Haifa blocked the port to prevent ships from docking here. Among the protesters were former navy commanders Ami Ayalon and David Ben-Besht.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir came to Ben Gurion International Airport, where demonstrators called for a gathering to disrupt Netanyahu’s visit to Italy, saying, “I came to support our security forces. We will not allow anarchy.” said.


“We are no less determined than the government”

Theodore Hertzkoretz, 66, who participated in the demonstrations, said in a statement, “We are here with these wonderful people to protest the judicial reform that the government wants to implement.” used the phrases.

Evaluating the Netanyahu government’s insistence on passing the judicial regulation through Parliament despite the protests, Hertzkoretz said, “They are determined to do it, but we are no less determined than they are. We are more determined to prevent this. We are strong, we are persistent and we will do it.” he said.

The Israeli protester said that if the government implements judicial regulation, “millions of people are against it” and that the government has the power to “overcome it”.

Ofer Chuav, a computer programmer working in the high-tech industry, also stated that he participated in the demonstrations “to defend the fragile Israeli democracy” and said, “We are here to protect our courts, which is one of the only institutions that can prevent the government’s practices that I may consider dictatorial and inhumane.” said.

Expressing that he was “doubtful” that the protests could prevent Netanyahu from passing the bill, the demonstrator said, “Still, we will not leave without a fight. This is something valuable.” he said.


13 demonstrators detained

Meanwhile, according to the statement made by the Israeli police, 13 demonstrators have been detained since morning on the grounds that they “disturbed public order with actions such as blocking roads”.

Israeli Police Chief Kobi Shabtai had previously announced in a written statement that the police “will allow people to demonstrate, but will not tolerate blocking roads”.

Shabtai informed that 3,000 police officers would be deployed in 130 different regions for acts of civil disobedience.

Due to the protests, it was stated that Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant will meet with the US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, who will visit the country today, not in his office in West Jerusalem, but near the International Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv.

In a report in the Israeli press, it was noted that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who will visit Italy today, may have to fly from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv by helicopter due to the protests.


Netanyahu government’s controversial ‘judicial reform’

Israeli Minister of Justice Yariv Levin announced on January 5 that they were planning a law that would limit the powers of the Supreme Court and reduce the influence of the judiciary on the selection of judges.

The moves of the coalition government led by Netanyahu to transfer some of the powers of the judiciary to the Parliament caused tensions between the government and the Israeli judiciary, especially the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court, which acts as the highest judicial authority in the country, has the authority to overturn the laws passed by the Assembly on the grounds of contradiction to the “basic laws” accepted as the draft constitution.

The Netanyahu government stated in the judicial regulation it announced that it would deprive the Supreme Court of its authority to overturn the laws passed by the Assembly.

Israeli Chief Prosecutor, Gali Baharav-Miara, submitted his objections to the government’s judicial regulation in writing and shared that his concerns were focused on the deterioration of “separation of powers, independence of the judiciary and protection of individual rights”.

While the mass demonstrations held every Saturday against the judicial regulation and right-wing policies of the Netanyahu government in the country have left behind for 9 weeks, the opposition, public institutions and business sectors are also reacting to the government’s bill.

Tens of thousands of Israelis are participating in the demonstrations, which are held in dozens of locations across the country, especially in Tel Aviv and in major cities such as Haifa, West Jerusalem, Birussebi and Netanya.

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