Live: Netanyahu delivers a message amid protests and strikes over judicial reform in Israel

In the midst of a general strike and a new day of protests, the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahuhas planned give an announcement in which he is expected to confirm the suspension of the controversial judicial reform.

The message was scheduled for tomorrow (local time), but it has been delaying. Meanwhile, on Twitter, the premier asked protesters not to act violently in the protests that are taking place right now in Jerusalem. “I call on all the protesters in Jerusalem, both on the right and on the left, to behave responsibly and not act violently. We are all brothers,” he said in a statement released by his Likud party.

As tens of thousands of Israelis have once again taken to the streets to protest against judicial reform, Right-wing groups, pro-government and sympathetic, also announced today their intention to hold counter-demonstrations.

Some of these groups, such as the far-right La Familia, are known for acting violently, which is why the police have deployed additional agents to prevent incidents, especially in Jerusalem, where a massive protest is already taking place in front of the Knesset. (Israeli Parliament) to demand an end to the reform.

Massive protest in Jerusalem (Reuters) (STRINGER /)

In the face of the massive protests that broke out again last night across Israel, the largest in 13 consecutive weeks of demonstrations since the government announced its judicial reform plan, Netanyahu has been expected for hours to announce the temporary suspension of the ban in a public appearance.

The prime minister was to make a major announcement this morning, according to Israeli media, but his speech has been consistently delayed as holds meetings with its coalition partners to agree on how to proceed in the face of the serious social fracture caused by the reform, seen by its detractors as a threat to democracy because it undermines the independence of Justice.

According to leaks to the Hebrew media, Netanyahu would have convinced most of his partners of the need to temporarily suspend the parliamentary process of the reformalthough some like the extremist Itamar Ben Gvir, oppose it and would have threatened to leave the coalition. Both he and other right-wing leaders encouraged to participate this afternoon in the demonstration in Jerusalem in favor of the reform so that “the elections are not stolen from us.”

“Today we will stop being silent. Today the right wakes up, ”Ben Gvir wrote on his Twitter account.

The protest movement was spurred yesterday by the dismissal of Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, the first member of the Executive and Likud to openly express his desire to stop the reform before the social division generated, and punished by Netanyahu for it.

A record of more than 650,000 Israelis came out last night onto the streets across the country and tens of thousands did again today when the General Union of Workers, Israel’s main union, called for a general strike.

Flights canceled due to strike at Ben Gurion airport (Reuters)
Flights canceled due to the strike at Ben Gurion airport (Reuters) (STRINGER /)

The main banks, the electricity company, restaurant chains, department stores and numerous municipalities, including Tel Aviv’s, have joined the strike; while the union of workers at the Ben Gurion airport have managed to cancel the departure of flights.

“There is one thing that the extremists of this government did not take into account: you,” ex-prime minister and current opposition leader Yair Lapid told protesters in Jerusalem.

In addition, he called to continue the protests and denounced that the Executive has been “co-opted by a messianic, nationalist and anti-democratic group.”

(With information from EFE)

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