Netanyahu suspends judicial overhaul after day of Israeli turmoil
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu paused his signature plan to overhaul Israel’s judiciary after a day of nationwide turmoil when workers joined a general strike against the proposal and hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets.
Announcing his decision late on Monday (27 March) to suspend the plans until parliament returns after the break for the Passover holiday and Independence Day next month, Netanyahu said the crisis required all sides to act responsibly.
As he made the address, huge crowds had gathered in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, including a large counter-demonstration by right-wing supporters of the overhaul. Their presence prompted fears of possible violence between the two sides but the evening passed with no reports of major violence.
The decision to suspend the overhaul followed an extraordinary weekend in which Defence Minister Yoav Gallant was sacked after warning the divisions caused by the plans had affected the military and were threatening national security.
His dismissal by Netanyahu led thousands to take to the streets and Israel’s President Isaac Herzog to urge a halt.
Netanyahu sacks defence minister, sparking mass protests
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday (26 March) sacked Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, triggering mass protests, a day after Gallant broke ranks with the government and urged a halt to a highly contested plan to overhaul the judicial system.