Thousands Gather in Tel Aviv and other Cities for Seventh Week

On Saturday night, protests gathered in the city of Tel Aviv and others for the seventh week in a row for demonstrating against the judicial overhaul reforms.

The protests were held ahead of Monday when the judicial reforms will be presented before the Knesset plenum for their first reading.

The demonstrations

The organizers stated that almost a quarter million people were in attendance across 60 locations in Israel.

This includes nearly 135,000 people who marched in Tel Aviv to Kaplan Street from Dizengoff Center. Activists of the Yesh Atid party said that they had accompanied the protestors across the country at 40 different sites.

In Haifa, the total number of people who rallied stood at 18,000 where Tzipi Livni, the former Justice Minister also spoke.

In Kfar Saba, the total number of people in attendance were 22,000 where State Camp MK Benny Gantz spoke to the protestors.

There was a crowd of 8,000 people gathered in Netanya where opposition leader Yair Lapid also attended and spoke to them.

Lapid said that the distinguishing feature between a dictatorship and democracy is that in the former, the government is free to do what it wants.

In the latter, the government cannot touch some rights that belong to the citizens.

Lapid’s speech

The former prime minister went on to say that just because a government has majority in the Knesset does not give them the authority to prohibit women from leaving the house.

He said that they cannot decide to pay the bills of voters and they cannot take the authority of the High Court of Justice because of charges against the prime minister, or because his deputy is a criminal.

According to Lapid, the government had not been expecting such extensive protests and had believed the demonstrations would not go on for more than a week or two.

He also stated that they had attended a lot of protests, but the marches that had taken place in the previous week were different.

There had been statements in the previous rallies that had been called out for inciting violence.

Police commissioner

In a rare appearance, the police commissioner appeared on TV on Saturday night. Kobi Shabtai shared concerns about political assassinations and said that precautions had been taken by the authorities.

The commissioner said that they were on a slippery slope and the situation had made him sleepless. He said that everyone needed to relax because elected officials had already suffered harm due to online threats.

Shabtai also announced his decision to set up a special unit for dealing with incitement to violence. The announcement was made on Saturday night by the Israel Police.

The commissioner said that they would not allow any publication inciting violence or violent discourse to harm any individual or public figures.

On Friday, the Likud party had announced that a complaint had been filed against Ehud Barak, the former prime minister, with the police for civil disobedience and for inciting violence.

Benjamin Netanyahu wrote on Facebook that they will condemn incitement and take steps to put a stop to it.

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