News   /   Palestine

Under mounting pressure from violent protests, Netanyahu agrees to delay judicial overhaul plan

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Following twelve consecutive weeks of protests, which at times got violent, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has finally accepted to delay his infamous judicial reforms plan.

According to a Monday statement issued by the far-right Jewish Power party, which is a member of Netanyahu’s coalition cabinet, Netanyahu will delay the process for discussions on the controversial planned reforms until next month.

The statement added that the legislation would be pushed to the next session of the Knesset in order to "pass the reforms through dialogue." The Knesset will go on recess next week for the Jewish Passover holiday.

A few hours later, Netanyahu himself made a televised speech, saying he would delay his judicial reforms until the next parliamentary session.

"… I have decided to delay the second and third reading in order to reach a broad consensus," he said.

Itamar Ben-Gvir, an Israeli far-right minister, also said he had agreed to delay the judicial overhaul plan in exchange for a promise it would be brought up after the upcoming parliamentary recess.

Before the delay was announced, Israel's army chief of staff, Lieutenant General Herzi Halevi, called on the regime’s forces to continue to do their duty in the face of bitter divisions over the judicial plan.

His remarks came amid reports that a large group of Israeli forces have pledged not to heed call-ups for military reserve duty if the reforms proceed.

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 on a weekly basis, with the latest protests attended by hundreds of thousands in Tel Aviv on Saturday and Sunday.

The new protests came after Netanyahu fired the regime's minister for military affairs, Yoav Gallant, over his criticism of the controversial plan.

On Saturday, Gallant had called on the regime's far-right cabinet to halt the legislation, saying the bitter dispute it has caused was posing a threat to the occupying regime itself.

Israel’s embassies, major ports join strike against Netanyahu’s judicial reforms

Meanwhile, the Israeli regime’s embassies in other countries and major ports across the occupied territories on Monday joined mass strikes against Netanyahu’s so-called reforms.

Media reports cited a letter by Israel's primary worker's union as saying that Israeli embassies worldwide had been instructed to join a strike against the plan.

The letter, citing a mass strike in Israel declared by the Histadrut Labor Federation, said foreign ministry activities in the occupied territories and abroad would be limited to emergency services.

Two main ports in Israel also announced earlier in the day that they had stopped work following a labor strike in protest at the overhaul.                            

Haifa and Ashdod ports said in separate statements that work was halted after Israel's main labor union announced the general strike and said it would continue until Netanyahu stopped the judicial legislation.

In another development on Monday, the Israeli prime minister‘s extremist coalition cabinet survived no-confidence motions filed by the opposition.

One motion failed by a vote of 59-53, a second by a vote of 60-51, according to a Knesset speaker.

PM urges protesters on all sides to refrain from violence

Moreover, Netanyahu tweeted a call on Israeli protesters and counter-protesters to refrain from violence on Monday as disarray deepened over the judicial reform plan.

After weeks of intensifying demonstrations, some lawmakers in Netanyahu's coalition called on their supporters to turn out opposite parliament in the occupied al-Quds as well.                          

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

Press TV News Roku