More than 230 thousand people in Israel protest against Netanyahu

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More than 230,000 protesters took to the streets of Israel in a new day of protests against the controversial judicial reform promoted by the Executive of Benjamin Netanyahuthe organizers reported.

The demonstrations this Saturday marked the twenty-first consecutive week of protests and had the city of Tel Aviv as its main focus.

Groups of protesters also concentrated in cities from north to south of the country, including important urban centers such as Jerusalem, Haifa or Beer Sheva.

According to the organizers, more than 150,000 people gathered in the center of Tel Aviv, while some 85,000 more protested in the rest of the Israeli territory.

These figures represent an increase from last weekwhen the protests also focused on the state budget, approved on Wednesday and which provides important benefits to the ultra-Orthodox Jewish population, which, like the extreme right, is represented in the government led by Netanyahu.

"Of course, We will continue our efforts to reach a consensual agreementto the extent possible, on the issue of judicial reform," the president said this week after the budgets were approved.

"It is now clear that the negotiations at the president's residence served as a mere excuse for Netanyahu to buy time," protest organizers responded, referring to the dialogue between government and opposition promoted by the president, Isaac Herzog.

“The government is one vote away from approving judicial reform that would undermine Israel's democratic institutions. Only one thing stopped the government from its first attempt to push through judicial reform: hundreds of thousands of Israelis protesting. Our protest will once again stop Netanyahu“, they added in a statement.

After a day of massive protests, the Prime Minister temporarily suspended legislative proceedings of the reform two months ago, giving way to a period of negotiations that has not yet yielded results.

The demonstrations; however, they have not ceased and their leaders are fervently opposed to any version of the reform that give more power to the Executive to the detriment of Justice, whose independence would be profoundly undermined.

The proposed text foresees projects such as a restructuring of the judge selection committee or a controversial clause to limit the powers of the Supreme Court.

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