Tens of thousands of people took to the streets in the 12th week of the demonstrations, opposing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's controversial regulation restricting the powers of the judiciary in Israel. Tens of thousands of protesters gathered in front of the Government Complex on Kaplan Street in Tel Aviv, which hosts the largest demonstration, as it does every week.
Hundreds of protesters also gathered outside the home of Defense Minister Yoav Gallant in Amikam, in the north of the country. Demonstrators reacted to Gallant, who canceled the speech he had planned last week to halt judicial regulation after Prime Minister Netanyahu's initiative.
Protesters in Tel Aviv blocked the city's central Ayalon Highway, while Israeli police used water cannon to disperse the protesters. In a written statement made by the Israeli police, it was stated that 23 people who blocked the highway were detained. In the demonstrations in West Jerusalem, 3 demonstrators were detained while trying to block the roads by crossing the police barricade. Also, according to the news of Haaretz, clashes broke out between two opposing protest groups in the city of Or Akiva. The police intervened in the brawl and detained 10 people here.
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has called on the government to stop the controversial judicial regulation that has led to a political crisis and mass protests in Israel. Gallant, one of the leading figures of the Likud party led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, made a video statement regarding the judicial regulation that the coalition government led by Netanyahu insisted on passing through the Parliament.
Gallant expressed his concern about the government's reaction to the bill, declaring that thousands of reservists in the Israeli army will not participate in the training. "The division within the country has penetrated deeply into the Israeli army and defense organization. This is a clear and great threat to Israel's security. I will not allow it," the Defense Minister said.
Calling for the suspension of the judicial regulation process and dialogue, Gallant said:
"I hear voices from the (Military) Field and I am worried. Events in Israeli society do not occur outside of the army and the defense organization. The feelings of anger, frustration and fear have reached levels we have never seen before. I presented this painting to Prime Minister Netanyahu. (Judicial regulation) The process is as follows. We need to stop right now and sit down and talk."
"We need a change in the judiciary, but big changes must be made through dialogue. Now I'm speaking out in my own voice, we must stop the legislative process," Gallant said.
The call of Defense Minister Gallant was also supported by Likud. Likud lawmakers Yuli Edelstein and David Bitan joined Gallant, calling for a halt to the bill and for dialogue.
Edelstein, who is chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee in the Israeli Parliament, thanked Gallant in a statement on his Twitter account, saying, "The majority of the public understands and wants a change in the judicial system, but it requires dialogue and patience to reach broad consensus. It should be done in a comprehensive manner.”
Bitan also shared a similar post on his Twitter account and said:
"As I said weeks ago, the bill must be stopped, negotiations must be started immediately and a comprehensive agreement must be reached. I support the words of my friend, the defense minister."
On the other hand, former Prime Minister and opposition party leader Yair Lapid shared on his Twitter account that Gallant had "taken a bold and important step for the security of the State of Israel".
Lapid made the following comments in his post:
"Judicial regulation seriously harms national security, and it is his (Gallant's) duty and responsibility to stop this dangerous corruption. Here is the moment of truth. I'm calling out to the government, stop everything. The bill on the judiciary electoral board. (Referring to Deri) Do not pass the Leather Law and let's negotiate at the Presidential Residence."