Tel Aviv:Israeli police used water cannons to push back protesters who broke through to the residence of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Keshet 12 TV channel reports.
Late on Sunday, thousands of protesters broke through the last police checkpoint in front of Netanyahu’s residence in Jerusalem.
Keshet 12 TV said that waster cannons were used against the protesters at Netanyahu’s residence.
Later in the night, The Times of Israel reported that law enforcement, including police mounted on horses, were forcefully clearing out protesters from the Ayalon Highway in Tel Aviv. Water cannons were used against the demonstrators who had blocked the highway for around five hours. Some protesters threw various objects, such as water bottles, at police, according to the newspaper.
The mass protest started after Netanyahu dismissed Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, who became the first key Israeli minister to call for a halt of the controversial judicial reform on Saturday. Gallant said that there was a growing rift in Israeli society that was also penetrating the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the country’s security agencies.
Israel’s National Security Minister Ben Gvir urged Netanyahu to fire Gallant on Saturday.
Israel’s Consul General in New York Asaf Zamir announced his resignation after the Israeli prime minister dismissed Gallant on Sunday.
Mass protests against the judicial reform have been held in Israel for 12 straight weeks. According to Netanyahu, the Israeli government plans to pass a key part of the proposed legislation in the coming days.
On Friday, organizers of the protest movement against the judicial reform in Israel declared a “week of paralysis,” which would include nationwide demonstrations against the divisive legislative action. Earlier this week, hundreds of activists swarmed outside the residences of prominent Israeli government officials — including Tourism Minister Haim Katz, Diaspora Affairs Minister Amichai Chikli, Environmental Protection Minister Idit Silman, and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, among others — to protest against the judicial reform.