A record half a million Israelis protest judicial reform, announce ‘Day of Escalating Resistance’

Protesters once again lit fires on Ayalon highway.

By World Israel News Staff

Protest organizers say a record 500,000 people gathered in Tel Aviv and other cities in Israel on Saturday night for the tenth week in a row, to protest against the government’s controversial plan to overhaul the country’s left-leaning judiciary.

While Tel Aviv, as usual, held the largest protest, other cities also saw record turnouts. Around 50,000 protesters came out in Haifa, up from 15,000 the previous Saturday night, while Ra’anana saw 9,000 people take to the streets. Beersheba, known as a bastion of the right wing, had a record 10,000 protesters.

A few hundred protesters in Tel Aviv broke through a barrier and ran onto the Ayalon highway in a bid to block traffic, as they did last week in a move that ended with several arrests.

Protesters lit a fire on the highway.

Protesters cheered and clapped at Tel Aviv District Commander Amichai Eshed’s attendance at the rally. Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai – at the behest of National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, who blamed Eshed for being too soft on protesters – had removed him from the post but was blocked by Attorney-General Gali Baharav-Miara, who said the legality of the move was unclear. Shabtai on Saturday night said he had “made a mistake” in removing Eshed.

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Protest leaders announced that Thursday would be a “Day of Escalating Resistance.” On Wednesday, protesters plan on disrupting Netanyahu’s flight to Berlin, as they attempted — but ultimately failed — to do with the Israeli leader’s flight to Rome last week.