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March 24, 2023 10:23 am

Israel AG: Netanyahu Intervention in Judicial Reform ‘Illegal’

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avatar by i24 News

Demonstrators wave flags after hanging copies of the Israeli Declaration of Independence on the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City in an act of protest as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s nationalist coalition government presses on with its contentious judicial overhaul, in Jerusalem, March 23, 2023. Photo: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

i24 News – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in breach of his conflict of interest agreement when he announced Thursday he was “taking over” the proposed judicial overhaul, Attorney-General Gali Baharav-Miara wrote in an open letter to Netahyahu Friday.

“Your statement last night and any action that will be taken on this matter is illegal and tainted by a conflict of interest,” the letter read.

Netanyahu said in a televised address on Thursday that he was determined to proceed with judicial reforms amid unprecedented nationwide protests against the government’s overhaul plan.

“We will ensure the basic rights of all Israeli citizens — Jews and non-Jews, secular and religious, women, the LGBTQ community, everyone without exception,” he said. “I will do everything to calm the waters and mend the rift in the nation, because we are family.”

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The Likud leader’s comments came at the end of another day of mass protests across the country, some violent, against the controversial reform.

The protests have escalated since the start of the year when Netanyahu’s hard-right government introduced new legislation that would limit the authority of the High Court.

The plan has stirred concern for Israel’s democratic health at home and abroad. Military reservists have joined the protests and senior officials in the Finance Ministry warned this week of an economic backlash.

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