Israelis protest government’s judicial overhaul plans

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Tens of thousands of Israelis gathered Saturday for a weekly demonstration against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu government’s proposed judicial overhauls, which opponents say threaten Israel’s democratic values.

The protesters marched at two locations in the central coastal city of Tel Aviv, waving flags and chanting slogans against the justice minister. “Doctors fighting for the life of democracy,” read a banner raised by a doctor at the Tel Aviv protest.

The protest is the fifth against the new government, a coalition of ultra-Orthodox and far-right nationalist parties that took office in December.

The government launched proposals to weaken the Supreme Court by giving parliament the power to overturn court decisions with a simple majority vote. It also wants to give parliament control over the appointment of judges and reduce the independence of legal advisers.

Smaller protests were reported in several Israeli cities.

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