Mass rally in Tel Aviv: Israelis protest against the government's judicial reform
Photo: Tsafrir Abayov / dpa
Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in several Israeli cities to protest against the controversial judicial reform.
In the coastal metropolis of Tel Aviv, a large rally took place on the ninth Saturday evening, according to media reports, around 160,000 people took part.
There were also protests in other cities such as Haifa and Netanya.
According to the police in Tel Aviv, around 200 demonstrators broke through a barrier and blocked the main road connecting to Jerusalem.
A water cannon was used.
According to media reports, arrests were made.
At a protest in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, there had already been violent confrontations, and several demonstrators were injured.
There were complaints of excessive police violence.
Netanyahu once again causes outrage
The reform of the judiciary is being pushed ahead despite violent protests by large sections of the population.
According to plans by the right-wing religious government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, parliament should in future be able to overturn decisions of the highest court with a simple majority.
In addition, politicians should be given more influence in the appointment of judges.
The proposed law could also play into the head of government's hands in a corruption process that has been going on against him for some time.
Netanyahu caused outrage on Wednesday when he drew a comparison between anti-reform protesters and violent settlers who wreaked havoc following an attack in the Palestinian city of Huwara.
Critics see the reform as a threat to the separation of powers and warn that Israel could turn into a dictatorship.
The government, on the other hand, argues that the highest court currently exercises too much political influence.
Anti-reform demonstrations often feature women in long red coats and white bonnets disguised as characters from the television series The Handmaid's Tale.
Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, first published in 1985, is a dystopian tale of a dictatorship that oppresses women in particular.
With the disguise, the demonstrators express their fear that Israel could go in such a political direction in the course of weakening the judiciary.