Mass Protests Ignited in Israel Following Netanyahu’s Dismissal of Defense Chief

Sudden Outpouring of Public Discontent Amidst Judiciary Overhaul Plans

By The Associated Press

Unprecedented Protests Erupt Across Israeli Cities

In an unforeseen display of public discontent, tens of thousands of Israelis assembled in various cities on Sunday night, reacting to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s unexpected dismissal of his defense minister. This dismissal followed the defense minister’s opposition to the prime minister’s plans to restructure the judiciary.

Amidst the turmoil, Tel Aviv protesters obstructed a central highway and set massive bonfires ablaze. In Jerusalem, demonstrators congregated near Netanyahu’s private residence, resulting in scuffles with the police.

Netanyahu’s Judicial Overhaul Sparks Widespread Controversy

The ongoing crisis regarding Netanyahu’s judiciary restructuring initiative has led to extensive protests, unsettling business moguls, former security heads, and arousing apprehension from the United States and other close allies.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant’s

dismissal revealed that Netanyahu and his associates intend to persist with their plans for the judicial overhaul. Gallant, a prominent figure in the ruling Likud party, had been the first to publicly express dissent, warning that the intense discord could potentially debilitate the military.

As protesters continued to amass in the streets, some Likud ministers hinted at a possible delay in the overhaul. Culture Minister Micky Zohar, a close associate of Netanyahu, indicated the party would support the prime minister if he chose to temporarily halt the judicial restructuring.

Israeli media reported that leaders of Netanyahu’s coalition planned to convene on Monday morning. Later that day, the grassroots protest movement announced plans for another large-scale demonstration outside the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, in Jerusalem.

Dismissal of Defense Minister Spurs Nationwide Protests

Following Netanyahu’s announcement, a multitude of Israelis took to the streets in protest, obstructing Tel Aviv’s primary thoroughfare, the Ayalon highway, waving blue-and-white Israeli flags, and igniting a substantial bonfire in the center of the road.

Rallies were also held in Beersheba, Haifa, and Jerusalem. In the latter, thousands assembled outside Netanyahu’s private residence, leading to clashes with police who employed a water cannon to disperse the crowd. Protesters subsequently marched from the residence to the Knesset.

Inon Aizik, a 27-year-old protester outside Netanyahu’s residence, expressed his concerns about