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Israel's "Day of Shutdown" sees arrests, roads blocked as Netanyahu stands firm on judicial reforms

CA, 24 Mar 2023
Roads were blocked and police clashed with protesters in Israel as a "Day of Shutdown" was held in opposition to proposed judicial reforms by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government.

Thousands of protesters carried flags and signs blocking roads in multiple cities, including Tel Aviv, as police also tried to disperse crowds with water cannons. The demonstrations have escalated since the start of the year when Netanyahu introduced the legislation which critics say would weaken Israel's democracy. Earlier on Thursday, a law was ratified limiting the circumstances in which a prime minister can be removed.

Amid the latest protests, Netanyahu appeared to stand firm on his plan to pass reforms.
"We are determined to correct, responsibly promote the democratic reform that will restore the proper balance between the authorities," he said in a televised address.

But in Jerusalem, those protesting criticized the remarks, saying it was sad a compromise could not be reached.

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