‘Day of Disruption’ – Highways, trains, and buses blocked in protests, police use stun grenades and tear gas

The current government coalition “is not a fully right-wing government, it is a fully terrorist government,” said the former Shin Bet chief.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

A national “Day of Disruption” organized by activists opposed to proposed reforms to Israel’s judicial system began demonstrating again on Wednesday morning, blocking major highways and thoroughfares, gathering outside of the homes of MKs, and marching through the streets of cities across the country.

Tens of thousands are protesting in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, Beersheba, and other cities and towns throughout Israel. At least 10 people were arrested, one for attacking a policewoman and nine for disrupting the flow of traffic and refusing orders to leave junctions and roadways.

Israeli police used stun grenades and tear gas to disperse crowds blocking a major Tel Aviv highway.

According to a schedule published by organizers, the day will see parents and students demonstrate outside of educational institutions, hour-long strikes by hi-tech and healthcare workers, protest convoys of agricultural vehicles blocking highways, demonstrations near Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s private home in Jerusalem, rallies outside of the Knesset building, and “rage protests” in Tel Aviv and near Pardes Hanna in northern Israel.

Late Wednesday morning, hundreds of demonstrators brought traffic to a standstill on Ayalon Highway, which passes through Tel Aviv, and Route 1, Israel’s main east-west highway which connects Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

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There were also reported disruptions to public transportation, as protesters blocked buses and attempted to delay the departure and arrival of inter-city trains.

“Over the last hour, there have been a number of intentional disruptions to the closing of the doors on some trains when they stop at stations, and as a result, the trains are delayed and there are disruptions to movement and travel,” Israel Railways said in a statement.

“We ask all passengers to allow safe and regular journeys to continue.”

Speaking to a crowd at a rally in Tel Aviv on Wednesday morning, former Shin Bet head Yuval Diskin said that the current coalition “is not a fully right-wing government, it is a fully terrorist government.”

National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir said in a statement that he was instructing police to remove protesters who were disrupting traffic on roads and highways.

“The blocking of central roads must not be allowed, and all of the anarchists’ blockades must be opened,” he said. “I am in favor of democratic protest, but we will not allow civil riots and we will not allow anarchists to block major roads.”