Protests Intensify Amid Deadlocked Talks on Judicial Reform


Israelis on boats protest protest against the government’s planned judicial reform, at the sea in Haifa, Thursday. (Shir Torem/Flash90)

Thousands of Israelis took to the streets Thursday to demonstrate against the judicial reform in what protest leaders have dubbed yet another “Day of National Disruption.”

Demonstrators said they would go beyond blocking roads and make “house calls” to the private residences of coalition MKs. Some schools and businesses also plan to strike.

Despite the effort by President Yitzchak Herzog to seek a way out of the stalemate, the sides appeared to be further digging in. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his allies were set to barrel forward with their original plan despite weeks of mass protests as well as warnings by Herzog that Israel was headed toward an “abyss.”

The judicial reform has been a source of major contention since it was first introduced in January by Justice Minister Yariv Levin.

The “Day of National Disruption” will culminate with a nighttime demonstration at the Habima Square in Tel Aviv. Previously held days of disruption turned violent with police using stun grenades to disperse protesters blocking the Ayalon Highway in Tel Aviv and arresting dozens of people.

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