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Thousands demonstrate for 23rd week against extremist Israeli cabinet

Thousands of demonstrators rally in protest at the Israeli extremist cabinet’s so-called judicial overhaul plan, in Tel Aviv, on June 10, 2023. (via AFP)

Tens of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets across the occupied territories for the 23rd straight week to condemn the extremist Israeli cabinet led by Benjamin Netanyahu.

The protesters turned out in the coastal city of Tel Aviv on Saturday and also in other cities, including Haifa and Rehovot, respectively in the northern and central parts of the occupied territories.

The rallies began more than five months ago, when prime minister Netanyahu announced his decision to push changes to the regime's judiciary through the Knesset. 

The plan is aimed at curtailing the authority of the regime's Supreme Court and giving politicians greater powers over the selection of judges.

Israel's extremist and far-right cabinet, which is made up of Netanyahu's Likud party and its ultra-Orthodox allies, says the changes are necessary to reverse what it describes as decades-long overreach by the judiciary.

Several Israeli officials have warned that the entity is facing a "real danger" as back-to-back protests have hit cities amid bitter rifts over the extremist direction of the regime. They include Israeli president, Isaac Herzog, who has warned of "collapse" and "implosion." 

"We have been here... with our kids, in the rain or hot weather" for 23 weeks, a protester told AFP.

"...We need to stand and safeguard our rights and make sure that doesn't happen at all again and they don't pick up their heads and pass legislations that will change things for good," another was quoted by Reuters as saying.

Protesters also carried a poster with half the face of Netanyahu and half the face of deceased Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, reading, 'Bibi Escobar'.

Faced with overwhelming public pressure, Netanyahu announced a "pause" in his bid to enact the plan back in late March.

Last month, however, he vowed to "continue our efforts to reach understandings as broad as possible" on the judicial overhaul plan.

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