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Israeli pres. warns of 'civil war' as Netanyahu hangs onto controversial reforms

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The Israeli regime's President Isaac Herzog

The Israeli president warns that the occupying regime is moving down a dangerous path as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu remains adamant about implementing a set of highly controversial "legal reforms."

The reforms proposed by the premier seek to rob the Supreme Court of its ability to overrule either the regime's cabinet or Knesset (the parliament)'s decisions. They also seek to empower the MPs to strike down the court's verdicts, and give more say to the cabinet in the selection committee that appoints the judges.

Speaking on Wednesday, President Isaac Herzog warned that Netanyahu's insistence on bringing about the so-called reforms had pushed the regime down "the depths of a real crisis."

Since late December, when the prime minister unveiled the reforms, tens of thousands of people have been holding weekly rallies across Tel Aviv and other major cities throughout the occupied territories to try to dissuade the cabinet from enacting the changes.

Most recently, protesters formed a human chain, blocking the road that leads to Netanyahu's office in protest at the pending reforms.

"A civil war is a red line," the Israeli president noted in a TV address, but asserted, "I won't let that happen at any cost or any way."

Herzog has offered an alternative to Netanyahu's scheme. The president's plan would see the selection committee include three ministers, the president of the high court, two judges, and two civil servants who will be agreed upon by both the president of the Supreme Court and the justice minister.

Netanyahu has, however, stayed resolute to deploy the changes.

"Key sections of the outline he (Herzog) presented only perpetuate the existing situation and do not bring the required balance to the Israeli authorities," Netanyahu tweeted, adding, "This is the unfortunate truth."

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