Home » Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu doubles down on controversial legal shake-up — despite thousands joining street protests

ISRAEL’S under fire Prime Minister last night doubled down on his controversial legal shake up despite hundreds of thousands taking to the streets in uproar.

Benjamin Netanyahu refused to back down over sweeping new laws which could allow politicians major powers to override judges.

Benjamin Netanyahu refused to back down on laws which could give politicians powers to override judges


Benjamin Netanyahu refused to back down on laws which could give politicians powers to override judgesCredit: AP

And he fired a top defence minister who warned the new laws were becoming a security risk for the entire nation.

But in the face of the worst protests Israel had ever seen, he vowed to make sure new laws would not give “unlimited” powers and wanted to find a “happy centre” ground.

He refused to back down on his radical legal shake-up as the country saw a 12th week of disruptive protests which have pushed the nation to the brink of civil war.

Plans from the far-right coalition would allow politicians to appoint all supreme court judges, and could see them overrule decisions too.

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The PM played down the outrage as a “huge propaganda campaign” and insisted it was nothing to do with the corruption and bribery trial he is currently facing.

Defiant Mr Netanyahu exclusively told TalkTV’s Piers Morgan: “The trial over my legal proceedings are completely unaffected by this reform.”

Netanyahu accused Israel’s Supreme Court of becoming “too powerful” and “nullifying” Government decisions with “unacceptable” interventions.

He admitted: “There’s a lot of tension right now and I wish it wasn’t so, but I’m quite confident that we’ll get over this difficulty, because you have to reform things that get ossified.”

He hit back at critics, saying: “There’s not going to be this unlimited power, when you want to restrain unlimited power you don’t go and give the Parliament unlimited power over the courts.

“I think it’s a valid concern…

“You don’t want the pendulum to swing to the other side. I think that requires a balance. I agree with that.”

He revealed Rishi Sunak and President Biden have both urged him to think again – but reassured them Israel would “remain a democracy” – with many other nations picking their top judges.

And told critics to study his bill carefully before taking to the streets again, insisting “the independence of the judiciary will always be maintained”.

Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant yesterday called on him to halt the plans for a month as the nation faces a “clear, immediate and tangible danger to the security of the State”.

But last night he was dismissed after his comments.

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