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Israeli protesters hold 33th week of protests against far-right Israeli cabinet

20 Aug 2023 - 14:10

Tens of thousands of Israeli protesters have taken to the streets across the occupied lands for the 33rd consecutive week to voice anger against the policies of far-right cabinet of Benjamin Netanyahu.

The rallies were held on Saturday in the coastal city of Tel Aviv, the northern city of Haifa, and the occupied city of al-Quds, as well as dozens of other locations.

In al-Quds, protesters gathered outside Israeli President Isaac Herzog's house and near Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's residence.

The protests have been a fixed weekly event since January, when Netanyahu announced the overhaul scheme, which seeks to rob the regime's Supreme Court of the ability to invalidate the decisions made by the politicians.

Reporting on Saturday's rallies, the Israeli daily Ha'aretz wrote, "These protests took place in the shadow of the crisis between the Israeli army and the government."

More than 10,000 Israeli reserve troops, including members of the elite intelligence unit 8200 and air force pilots, have said they would no longer show up for duty on a voluntary basis in protest against the cabinet's insistence to go ahead with the overhaul plan.

The decision has prompted the Israeli top brass to warn about changes to the regime's "war-readiness."

In Haifa, Danny Yatom, the former head of the Israeli spy agency of Mossad, addressed a rally, saying the overhaul plan has provided an opportunity for "messianic extremists to actualize their racism and for the ultra-orthodox to leverage for a military draft exemption and more money."

Netanyahu, he said, wanted to be remembered "as the defender of Israel, but he will be remembered as the destroyer."

Addressing another demonstration in the city, opposition head Yair Lapid told the participants that the Israeli cabinet "hates the truth. It doesn't want to hear it, but it won't have a choice."

"...the problem is the competence of Netanyahu. The problem is they are destroying us from within," he added.

The protests have gained momentum since the end of July, when the Knesset passed the first bill of the overhaul plan, which restricted the Supreme Court's ability to declare the cabinet's decisions "unreasonable."

On September 12, the court is set to hear petitions aimed at striking down the bill that has been approved by the Knesset. The cabinet is, however, seeking to postpone the date, according to media reports.

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Taghribnews (TNA)