Netanyahu says will move ahead on contentious judicial overhaul plan after talks crumble

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says his government intends to move ahead on contentious plans to change the country’s judicial system

Via AP news wire
Sunday 18 June 2023 11:29 BST

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday his government intends to move ahead on contentious plans to change the country's judicial system after talks aimed at finding a compromise solution appeared to be crumbling.

The government's plans to overhaul the judiciary plunged Israel into one of its worst domestic crises ever earlier this year. Negotiations between the government and opposition parties somewhat alleviated the crisis with attempts to find a middle ground over proposed changes to the country’s justice system.

Those talks were jolted last week over a crisis surrounding the powerful regular committee responsible for picking the country’s judges.

Opposition leaders said negotiations were frozen until the committee is formed.

At a meeting of his Cabinet on Sunday, Netanyahu said the opposition wasn't negotiating seriously and that his government would move ahead cautiously on the overhaul.

“We will begin, this week, practical steps. We will do them in a measured way, responsibly, but in accordance with the mandate we received to make corrections to the justice system,” he said.

Netanyahu put the overhaul on hold in March after mass protests erupted in opposition to it. The decision to move ahead is likely to flare tensions and fuel the protest movement that has continued to demonstrate each Saturday, despite the plan being paused.

Opposition leader Yair Lapid said moving ahead unilaterally “will critically harm the economy, endanger security and rip the Israeli people to shreds.”

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