Israeli govt in chaos as judicial reform plans draw mass protests

The coalition of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu collapsed on Monday as a result of massive overnight demonstrations against the dismissal of his defense minister, which increased pressure on the government to abandon its hotly disputed plans to reform the judiciary.

After the Histadrut union called for a general strike, Israel experienced one of the largest waves of industrial action in years amid rumors that his nationalist-religious coalition might disintegrate.

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On Monday morning, Netanyahu was scheduled to make a televised announcement declaring the suspension of the plans, which he claims are necessary to restore balance to the political system but are opposed by some as a threat to democracy.

However, the announcement was delayed while Netanyahu met with the leaders of the coalition groups.

Yariv Levin, the justice minister who has been in charge of the proceedings, declared that as a member of the dominant Likud party, he would accept whichever choice Netanyahu made.

“A situation in which everyone does as they wish is liable to bring about the instant fall of the government and collapse of Likud,” he said in a statement.

Tens of thousands of protesters returned to the streets of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem as legislators convened in parliament, many of whom were waving the blue and white Israeli flags that have come to symbolize the demonstrations.

Supporters of the overhaul were also mobilizing, and a counter-demonstration in opposition to it was scheduled for later in front of the Knesset. La Familia, an ultra group affiliated with the Beitar Jerusalem club, was anticipated to participate.

In response to social media messages encouraging attacks on Israeli leftists, police numbers were increased to prepare for potential unrest. Netanyahu urged supporters on both parties to refrain from violence in a tweet.

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