Thousands rally in Jerusalem in favour of planned judicial overhaul

JERUSALEM – Tens of of Israelis demonstrated in Jerusalem on Thursday to show support for controversial planned legislation by the far-right coalition government which would see the country's highest court stripped of much of its powers.

Israelis remain polarised over the planned legislation that proponents say would restore balance to Israeli authorities and critics say removes checks on those in power.

A sea of blue and white flags, which have also been used as a symbol of the protests against the planned legislation, could be seen outside Israel's parliament.

Many demonstrators were wearing pins and holding flags supporting far-right Israeli political parties.

“The nation demands a judicial reform,” demonstrators chanted.

Demonstrations against the judicial overhaul plans, however, have gripped the country for weeks and have garnered large crowds in cities across the country, mostly and consecutively every Saturday night since the plans were announced.

Recent polls have found the overhaul plans are deeply unpopular.

“To all my friends who are sitting here, see how much power we have,” far-right lawmaker and Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich addressed the crowd.

“They have the media and they have tycoons who will fund the protests, but we have the nation.

“We will fix what needs to be fixed,” Mr Smotrich said.

“The nation demands a judicial reform,” the crowd chanted in response.

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