Tens of thousands of people opposing Netanyahu’s controversial regulation restricting the powers of the judiciary took to the streets again in the 12th week of the demonstrations.
The dismissal of Defense Minister Gallant, who opposes judicial reform, increased tensions in the country.
Thousands of people gathered in the capital Tel Aviv at the call of the opposition parties, protesting Netanyahu.
Gallant recalled the widespread protests within the military against judicial reform and called for the suspension of controversial judicial reform, citing the danger to national security.
Netanyahu government’s “controversial judicial reform”
Minister of Justice Yariv Levin announced on January 5 that they were planning a “judicial reform” 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 Israeli Supreme Court, which acts as the highest judicial authority in the country, has the power to overturn the laws passed by the Assembly on the grounds that they are contrary to the “fundamental laws” accepted as the constitutional draft.
The Netanyahu government stated in the judicial regulation it announced that the Supreme Court’s authority to overturn the laws passed by the Parliament would be largely taken away.
The judicial regulation of the government, which restricts the powers of the judiciary and envisages the power to have a say in judicial appointments, was heavily criticized within Israel and internationally.
The alternative bill presented by President Isaac Herzog, warning the parties of “civil war”, was also rejected by the government.
Thousands of reservists in the Israeli army, affiliated with units such as fighter pilots, submarine officers, cyber security experts, and special forces, announced that they would not continue their duties or attend training if the government implemented the controversial judicial regulation.
In Israel, domestic and foreign intelligence agencies and employees of other security institutions also announced their objections to the government’s judicial regulations.
Despite the ongoing debates and reactions, the bill that “makes it difficult to dismiss the prime minister” within the scope of “judicial reform” was passed by the Parliament on 23 March.
The bill, which is scheduled to be brought to Parliament tomorrow, envisions the government to have a primary say in the nomination of Supreme Court members so that it can nominate the Supreme Court President.
The Netanyahu-led coalition may risk losing a majority in the House to pass the controversial judicial package if Gallant and other Likud lawmakers who call against the judicial regulation withdraw their support from the government.