Protesters escalate tactics, vowing a ‘day of disruption’
Israelis protesting against the judicial reform proposed by the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blocked a major traffic route leading from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The bulk of the demonstrations against the measure are expected to take place in the Israeli capital.
Images on social media showed Highway 1 blocked off with chains and barbed wire, as the protesters made good on their promise to escalate their methods and “move on to direct action” in a bid to cause “a day of disruption.”
Police said they were “preparing for spontaneous road-blocking. It appears that the organizers’ plan is to act in multiple areas, so we will be ready to respond quickly and efficiently.”
“Israel will not be a dictatorship — the millions who took to the streets over the past two months made this clear — and we are now moving on to direct action,” the organizers said in a statement posted to their Hebrew-language website. “Faced with a government out to disrupt the democratic order, we will disrupt the public order. Tens of thousands will turn up to rallies across the country to stop the coup, which does not have broad support among the people.”
Netanyahu’s new nationalist-religious government moved ahead this month with its proposed changes as parliament took the first steps in legislating limits to the Supreme Court’s power to strike down laws. Another change pushed by the coalition would give it more sway in picking judges. Some of the bills won initial votes in parliament but have yet to be ratified into law.