News   /   Palestine

Israel pres. calls for ‘immediate stop’ to judicial reforms as Netanyahu 'backs down'

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)
Israeli illegal settlers opposed to the judicial changes protest moments after Netanyahu fired minister of military affairs Yoav Gallant, in Tel Aviv, March 26, 2023 (Photo by AP)

Israeli president Isaac Herzog has called on prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to back down on the so-called judicial reforms after mass protests against the overhaul and the sacking of the regime’s minister for military affairs Yoav Gallant.

Herzog said on his Twitter account, “We have seen very difficult scenes tonight. I appeal to the prime minister, the members of the government and members of the coalition: all the nation is surrounded by concerns. Security, economy, society, all under threat. The eyes of all the people of Israel are on you; the eyes of all Jews are on you; the eyes of the world are on you.”

“For the sake of the unity of the people of Israel, for the sake of responsibility, I call on you to stop the legislative process immediately… This is not a moment of politics, this is a moment of leadership and responsibility.”

Meanwhile, Netanyahu held discussions about the possibility of freezing the judicial overhaul legislation, following the wave of protests that broke out after he fired Gallant who called on him to stop the legislative process.

Gallant, who is a member of Netanyahu’s own right-wing Likud party and used to be a staunch ally of the premier, said, “The deepening split is seeping into the military...,” adding that the reforms posed “a clear, immediate, and real danger” to the regime.

Netanyahu had said the changes will stop the courts from over-reaching their powers, but critics say they will help him as he faces an ongoing trial for corruption.

According to Israeli Channel 12, Netanyahu on Monday postponed a public statement in which he had been expected to call a halt to his contested judicial overhaul, after a coalition ally urged him not to back down.

However, Israel’s Kan broadcaster said Netanyahu told coalition heads he will pause judicial overhaul.

Dr. Mohammad Halsa, a prominent expert on Israeli affairs, told Press TV that the Israeli regime witnesses the toughest and most dangerous state of chaos since the very establishment of the apartheid regime.

He said the situation is the most dangerous because the threats come from within this time, in light of the dispute over the judicial overhaul and the protests that have been sweeping across the regime.

The prime minister, who seems to be stuck in the middle of a tough situation, postponed announcing the halt of the judicial reforms and is unable to make a decision, said the analyst.

Netanyahu is stuck in a tough situation, according to Halsa.

The analyst said that Netanyahu either has to declare halting the reforms, which means the regime made up of his extremist coalition will instantly dissolve and he will go to jail, or he has to proceed with pushing the reforms forward, which means further angering the opposition, whose supporters have been protesting across the occupied territories for twelve weeks already.  

“The chaos which rules over Israel forced Netanyahu to fire the minister of military affairs Gallant, and this move was prompted by pressure carried out by Israeli hard-line ministers Bezalel Smotrich and Itmar Bin Gvir as well as other members of the Likud party,” he told Press TV.

The extremist far-right politicians are taking advantage of the situation to serve their own personal interests and agendas, Halsa noted.

Firing Gallant accelerated the events inside the Israeli regime, and the protests suddenly jumped to a very sensitive and boiling point.

Mass protests have gripped the apartheid regime since it announced its proposed judicial reforms in January. Tens of thousands of demonstrators have faced off against police in the streets weekly, with the latest protest having hundreds of thousands rally in Tel Aviv on Saturday and Sunday.

Halsa explained that the Israeli resident usually does not get involved in politics.

“His immediate call for Netanyahu to back down shows fears and concerns over the situation following a night of dramatic night of protests across the Israeli regime,” the analyst added.

Meanwhile, Israel's main union, private sector and airport announced strike over the judicial overhaul.

“Recently following the firing of Gallant, the Histadrut, the General Federation of Labor in the Israeli regime joined the opposition in its strike and protests, and this move will paralyze life inside the Israeli regime during the coming few days,” Halsa said.

“The labor syndicate declared that it will stop its strike only in case Netanyahu rehires Gallant and halts the judicial reforms, and this is why Netanyahu feels confused.”

Halsa pointed out that the Israeli prime minister was most probably not expecting to see bodies such as the Histadrut, which stands behind the majority of the labor force in the Israeli regime, join the strikes and the opposition groups.

According to the expert, the Israeli regime and its illegal settlers will soon enter a war of confrontations in an attempt to eradicate one another. This means that the two Israeli camps and their supporters will pour into the streets in a lunatic confrontation. It is important to keep in mind that the far-right extremists are not only violent against Palestinians, but also against Israelis who do not agree with them and only know the language of violence.  

“He probably regrets the move of firing Gallant. We will have to wait and see what will happen, but anyways, Netanyahu and the entirety of the Israeli regime is in lose-lose situation,” Halsa concluded.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku