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Thousands join Israeli judicial protests in shadow of attacks

9 April 2023 18:50 (UTC+04:00)
Thousands join Israeli judicial protests in shadow of attacks

Tens of thousands of Israelis joined protests on Saturday against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's plans to tighten controls on the Supreme Court, despite heightened security worries after two deadly attacks a day earlier, Azernews reports citing Reuters.

The latest in a series of protests against the plans, which were paused last month in the face of a wave of strikes and mass demonstrations, come as Israel faces a sharp rise in tensions on several fronts during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Around Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, tens of thousands of worshippers were expected for evening prayers amid concerns over a possible repeat of nighttime police raids this week that were followed by rocket barrages into Israel and Israeli strikes into Gaza and Southern Lebanon.

Israelis were also on edge after a car-ramming in Tel Aviv on Friday that killed an Italian man and wounded five other tourists, hours after a gun attack killed two Israeli sisters and wounded their mother near a settlement in the occupied West Bank.

Netanyahu has mobilised border police reservists and ordered the army to reinforce security positions to head off possible trouble, amid calls for calm from the United Nations, the European Union and the United States.

In central Tel Aviv, crowds waving the blue and white Israeli flags that have become a hallmark of the protests over the past three months gathered in a show of defiance against plans they see as an existential threat to Israeli democracy.

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