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    HomePoliticsFormer Prime Minister Barak calls for civil disobedience

    Former Prime Minister Barak calls for civil disobedience

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    Tens of thousands of people took to the streets in Israel on Saturday evening to protest against the controversial judicial reform. At the central rally in Tel Aviv, former Prime Minister Ehud Barak called for the protest measures that have been going on for 25 weeks to be intensified. The only legitimate way is civil disobedience, said Barak.

    The right-wing conservative Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu initially suspended plans to restructure the judicial system in March after massive pressure. However, months of negotiations between the government and the opposition did not result in an agreement. A week ago, Netanyahu then announced that he would continue to press ahead with the reform despite the massive protests.

    Netanyahu’s right-wing religious coalition wants to use the restructuring to specifically weaken the country’s highest court. The government accuses the judges of excessive interference in political decisions. Critics see the separation of powers and thus the democratic order in danger. The organizers of the protests announced “targeted and non-violent protest actions against the dictatorial laws”. Many demonstrators in Tel Aviv also protested against the Israeli occupation in the Palestinian territories.

    Violence renewed in the West Bank

    Violence by Israeli settlers against Palestinians broke out again on Saturday in the occupied West Bank. According to media reports, several dozen Israelis broke into a town north of Ramallah and set Palestinian vehicles and buildings on fire. The Israeli army said there were confrontations between Israelis and Palestinians. Security forces are on duty to stop them. So far, one Israeli citizen has been arrested. A soldier was injured by a stone throw. “The Israeli army will continue to take decisive action against all acts of violence and destruction of property,” the statement said. “The Israeli army condemns such nationalist crimes that lead to escalation.”

    On Saturday night, a Palestinian opened fire on Israeli security forces at a crossing north of Jerusalem, according to Israeli sources. He was then shot. Since the deadly attack by two Palestinians on four Israelis in the West Bank on Tuesday, massive settler violence against Palestinians had already occurred there several times. Israeli opposition leader Jair Lapid wrote on Twitter: “The settlers’ violence transcends all borders.”

    The German ambassador to Israel, Steffen Seibert, said he was “shocked” by the new acts of violence. “The recent terrorist attacks cannot be used as an excuse,” he wrote on Twitter. Israel is responsible for the security of all residents of the occupied territories.

    The security situation in Israel and the Palestinian territories has long been tense. Since the beginning of the year, 24 people have died in attacks. During the same period, 139 Palestinians were shot dead during Israeli military operations, confrontations or after their own attacks. Israel captured the West Bank and East Jerusalem during the 1967 Six Day War. The Palestinians claim the areas for their own state.

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