Air Blockade in Israel until Netanyahu reverses Judicial Reform

World | March 27, 2023, Monday // 13:24
Bulgaria: Air Blockade in Israel until Netanyahu reverses Judicial Reform @Wikimedia Commons

The situation in Israel is getting more and more complicated. There will be no flights from Ben Gurion International Airport until further notice as part of a large-scale strike announced by the Labor Union on Monday morning to protest judicial reform. This was announced by the chairman of the Committee of Airport Authorities of Israel, Pinchas Idan, quoted by the Jerusalem Post.

The strike is a sign of protest against the judicial reform pushed by the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is accused of corruption. It would subordinate the Supreme Court to politicians and impose their influence on the appointment of judges.

Atarot International Airport will remain in operation, but it is used by the Israeli Armed Forces.

The most far-right cabinet in Israel's history unveiled its reform plan shortly after taking office, sparking thousands of protests that spread beyond the country's borders. Jews protested in both Germany and the United States. World leaders are also reacting with concern, including Israel's main ally - the United States.

After weeks of protests in the streets of Israel, the situation escalated last night after Netanyahu fired Defense Minister Maj. Gen. Yoav Gallant from Netanyahu's Likud party after he called on the government to freeze progress on the judicial legislation. This brought hundreds of thousands to the streets of cities in Israel: Tel Aviv, Beersheba, Haifa. In Jerusalem, thousands gathered outside Netanyahu's private residence. They insisted that Israel remain a democratic state and not become a dictatorship where there is no separation of powers.

The police clashed with them and used a water cannon.

Demonstrators in Tel Aviv blocked the main Ayalon highway and lit large fires.

In a show of disagreement with Netanyahu, Israel's Consul General in New York, Asaf Zamir, resigned. "I cannot continue to represent this government," the consul wrote on Twitter. "I believe it is my duty to ensure that Israel is an example of democracy and freedom."

The US called for a compromise.

Mayors of Israeli municipalities announced the beginning of a hunger strike in front of Netanyahu's office.

Former prime minister and opposition leader Yair Lapid also raised his voice again, commenting that Gallant's dismissal "harms national security and does not take into account the warnings of defense officials."

"The Prime Minister of Israel is a threat to the security of the State of Israel," Yair Lapid tweeted.

After the stormy night this morning, President Isaac Herzog also called on the ruling coalition to halt its judicial reform. He previously warned that because of its passage by the most far-right government in Israel's history, the country is facing a bloody civil war.

A statement is expected from Netanyahu, who called an emergency cabinet meeting.

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Tags: Israel, Netanyahu, judicial reform, Strike

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