Jerusalem: Israeli police began to arrest protesters in Jerusalem rallying against the controversial judicial reform and to confiscate Palestinian flags, Israeli media reported on Monday.
Earlier in the day, a massive strike by the country’s largest trade union kicked off in Israel as hundreds of thousands of people in the transportation, education and retail industries stopped work. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his coalition partners that the work on the judicial reform would be suspended.
The Haaretz newspaper reported, citing police sources, that at least 80,000 people had gathered at the building of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, to protest against the reform.
Protests have been held in Israel for 12 straight weeks, escalating late Sunday night after the prime minister dismissed Defense Minister Yoav Gallant over his opposition to the judicial reform.
In January, Israeli Justice Minister Yariv Levin rolled out a legal reform package that would limit the authority of the Supreme Court by giving the cabinet control over the selection of new judges, as well as allowing the Knesset to override the court’s rulings with an absolute majority. The reform’s opponents argue it will undermine democracy in Israel and put the country on the verge of a social and constitutional crisis.