Netanyahu postpones vote on controversial judicial reforms for ‘further dialogue’

By Euronews  with AP  •

Copyright  AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ‘paused’ his controversial plans to reform Israel’s judiciary. The embattled leader blamed an “extremist minority” for the protests and that he is “not ready to divide Israel into pieces.” Netanyahu also said he is “taking time for further dialogue.”

The overhaul, which has sparked widespread protests and international condemnation, will not now be discussed in parliament until next month, said coalition member party Jewish Power earlier.

The announcement comes after Netanyahu’s national security minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, said on Monday that the government’s plan to overhaul the judiciary was being put on hold until the parliament’s summer session, which begins on April 30.

Tens of thousands of people have repeatedly taken to the streets against the plan — including spontaneous mass demonstrations that erupted across the country late Sunday after Netanyahu fired his defence minister for questioning the overhaul.

Yoav Gallant had been the first senior member of the ruling Likud party to speak out against the government’s plan, saying the deep divisions were threatening to weaken the military. In a brief statement, Netanyahu’s office said late Sunday the prime minister had dismissed Gallant.

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