Rally of Israelis against planned judicial overhaul continues for 22nd week

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Tens of thousands of Israelis gathered on Saturday to protest plans to overhaul the judiciary of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling coalition, the toughest line in Israel’s history .

The weekly protests, now in their 22nd week, continue despite Netanyahu’s announcement in March that the contentious legal proposals would be suspended.

Several rallies took place across Israel, with the main demonstration drawing tens of thousands of people to the central city of Tel Aviv.

Protesters waved Israeli flags, lit torches and beat drums.

The plan would weaken the judiciary and limit judicial review of laws and government decisions, which critics say poses a direct threat to civil rights and the rights of minorities and marginalized groups.

Protests have continued even as the government and opposition are in talks to find a compromise on the plan.

The government says the court plan aims to rein in what it says is an overly interventionist Supreme Court and return power to elected lawmakers. Critics say it will grant the government unlimited power and upend the country’s system of checks and balances.

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