After more than 7 months since the beginning of nonviolent protests by the people of Israel against the judicial reforms bill in the country, thousands of Israeli citizens gathered on Tuesday, July 11th. They staged demonstrations on highways and around Israeli airports, in protest against the first session of the final approval of the judicial reforms bill being carried out by the Netanyahu government.
According to Deutsche Welle, the protesters continued their civil protests by declaring a “Day of Disruption” in Israel. They took to the streets extensively and coordinately, displaying various protest banners. Some of these banners had the inscription: “We must prevent the demise of democracy.”
Dozens of mounted police officers were stationed among the thousands of demonstrators in Tel Aviv. At the entrance to Jerusalem, authorities used water cannons to disperse some of the protesters and arrested at least 66 protesters through the use of force.
Reuters reported the presence of approximately 1,000 police officers at Ben Gurion Airport, outside Tel Aviv, stating, “Thousands of protesters turned the main entrance area into a sea of blue and white Israeli flags. The airport spokesperson said that, despite the crowded conditions, flights were not affected.”
Published news also indicated the gathering of thousands of people at the main headquarters of the Histadrut labor union in Tel Aviv. It is said that these protesters are demanding a general strike.
The draft law approved in its first reading explicitly states that in the future, the Supreme Court of the country will no longer have the authority to deem the decisions of the government or individual ministers as “inappropriate.” Another objective of the reforms is to increase the influence of politicians in appointing judges.
The protests have continued extensively since January 7th, with over 200,000 Israeli citizens participating. The protesters argue that these reforms would lead to corruption in government institutions, and jeopardize the separation of powers and the preservation of key democratic principles in Israel.