Tens of thousands of Israelis packed Tel Aviv streets on Saturday for the 16th consecutive week to protest government judicial reforms they see as an attack on democracy.
The weekly protests have continued despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on March 27 announcing a “pause” to allow for talks on the reforms which were moving through parliament and split the nation.
Saturday’s demonstration comes ahead of another mass protest planned for the coastal city on Sunday to coincide with a Netanyahu speech to the general assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America.
The government’s reform proposals would curtail the authority of the Supreme Court and give politicians greater powers over the selection of judges.
Netanyahu’s administration, a coalition between his Likud party and extreme-right and ultra-Orthodox Jewish allies, argues the changes are needed to rebalance powers between lawmakers and the judiciary.
Next week also sees Israel commemorate Remembrance Day for its fallen soldiers and victims of “terrorism”, and also the country’s 75th anniversary.
Opponents of the reform plan another demonstration on Tuesday in Tel Aviv ahead of Independence Day on Wednesday, and those who back the reform are expected to gather on Thursday.