Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to announce a halt to his government's proposal to overhaul the judiciary amid mass protests overnight. The decision comes after the sacking of his defence minister who opposed the plans sparked widespread demonstrations across Israel.
According to sources in Netanyahu’s Likud party, he is expected to announce the freeze of legislation that would limit the powers of Israel’s supreme court in a televised address today. The proposed bill has been widely criticised by opposition politicians and civil rights activists for threatening democracy and undermining judicial independence.
Netanyahu's far-right government had pushed for this controversial legislation, arguing that it would prevent judges from interpreting laws according to their own political views. However, many Israelis saw it as an attempt by Netanyahu and his allies to weaken democratic institutions and consolidate power.
The protests against these reforms have been some of the largest in years, with thousands taking part across cities like Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa. Demonstrators have accused Netanyahu of trying to undermine democracy for personal gain while calling on him not only stop this reform but also resign from office.
As one protester put it: “We are here because we want our democracy back...we don't want Bibi (Netanyahu) running everything.”
It remains unclear whether this announcement will be enough for protesters or if they will continue their calls for change. However, it appears that Netanyhu may be forced into backing down on this particular issue due to overwhelming public pressure.
This is a developing story; more updates are expected later today.