All Israel

Violence and clashes break out as judicial reform protests enter 26th week

Organizers report significant increase in number of protesters compared to last week

Israelis attend a protest against the government's planned judicial overhaul, in Tel Aviv, July 1, 2023. (Photo: Miriam Alster/Flash90)

As judicial reform protests enter the 26th week, protest organizers said they will intensify their efforts in response to recent moves by the coalition government to resume judicial reform legislation.

In a Wall Street Journal interview last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that the judicial reforms would proceed without the controversial override clause.

The Saturday evening protests appeared to attract larger crowds than in previous weeks, with organizers reporting over 286,000 protesters nationwide.

Unlike previous weeks, there were reports of violence between protest groups at the main protest on Kaplan street in Tel Aviv.

According to Israeli media reports, a group of demonstrators waving Palestinian flags from the Peace Now organization were confronted by reservists from the group Brothers in Arms. One of the Peace Now activists attacked a Brothers in Arms member with pepper spray.

The Israel Police said they arrested one person in connection with the attack.

Videos of the clash between the two groups were posted to social media.

“Just as we will not allow violence in demonstrations, we will not accept the waving of enemy flags. The protest against the coup d'état is a patriotic protest by those who love the state and not by those who oppose its existence,” according to a statement from Brothers in Arms.

Another two suspects were arrested after a group of protesters blocked southbound traffic on the busy Ayalon Highway.

Another three people were arrested by police in the northern city of Nahariya after they existed a vehicle and violently confronted several protesters while attempting to take down their flags.

Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai addressed the main protest gathering in Tel Aviv, where he had harsh words for Netanyahu’s ultra-Orthodox coalition partners.

Huldai accused religious Zionists and the ultra-Orthodox of supporting settler violence in Judea and Samaria.

“You won’t dictate to us what Judaism is and how we must live it. Your Judaism isn’t our Judaism. You forgot what it is to be Jews in Huwara and Umm Safa,” Huldai said, referring to the locations of the two worst incidents of settler violence this year.

A small group of protesters from Brothers in Arms and a group calling itself 'Raanana Protestors' blocked the home of Knesset Member Danny Danon, where they called out, “Wherever you go we will follow you. We are not violent but we are determined, we will not give you a minute of rest. We will come to remind you that Israel will not be a dictatorship.”

Protests are expected to intensify even further this week as the coalition moves ahead with a bill to reduce the reasonableness clause, allowing for the judicial review of government decisions, including appointments.

The move is widely viewed as a means for returning convicted Shas party leader Aryeh Deri to a ministerial position. Deri’s appointment as Israeli's minister of interior and health minister were overruled by the High Court, deeming the appointment to be “unreasonable” and in violation of Deri’s plea bargain. He was removed from his two ministerial positions by Netanyahu shortly after the court’s decision.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

All Israel
Receive latest news & updates
    A message from All Israel News
    Help us educate Christians on a daily basis about what is happening in Israel & the Middle East and why it matters.
    For as little as $5, you can support ALL ISRAEL NEWS, a non-profit media organization that is supported by readers like you.
    Donate to ALL ISRAEL NEWS
    Popular Articles
    Latest Stories