Around 250,000 protesters took to the streets on Saturday evening, as anti-judicial reform protests entered their tenth consecutive week following the formation of the government at the start of January.
Nationwide, cities like Haifa have seen record-high numbers of protestors, as the number of demonstrators reached around 50,000, breaking a record for the city. Protest organizers said Ra'anana has reported around 9,000 protesters, 3,500 in Kiryat Ono, and upwards of 3,000 in Rehovot. Be'er Sheva is believed to have roughly 1,000 protesters, Ynet reported.
By 9:30 p.m., protesters had blocked the entrances to the Ayalon Highway, temporarily preventing traffic from passing. However, the road was cleared and traffic was able to resume shortly after. According to Israel Police, three protesters were arrested during the clearing of the Ayalon Highway.
"We will not agree to the subordination of the legal system to the government - not in the committee for the appointment of judges, not in the appointment of the chief justice in the High Court, and not in any other way."Anti-judicial reform protest organizers
Former Air Force Commander Amir Eshel, retired Commissioner Moshe Karadi, retired judge Hila Gerstel and Liron Demari from the Hi-Tech protest are expected to speak at Kaplan.
Police began to assemble blockades on the Ayalon highway and throughout Tel Aviv early on Saturday afternoon.
Shortly before the evening's proceeds began, the organizers of the judicial reform protests put out a statement, reiterating their conditions.
"We will not agree to the subordination of the legal system to the government - not in the committee for the appointment of judges, not in the appointment of the chief justice in the High Court, and not in any other way," read the statement.
"We will not agree to the training of criminals to serve as ministers while trampling the Supreme Court and restricting it from interfering in corrupt appointments.
"If [Yariv] Levin, [Simcha] Rothman and [Benjamin] Netanyahu do not announce the freeze on the legislation, protests will intensify in the coming days."
Lapid speaks at Beersheba protest, ex-police show solidarity for Tel Aviv chief
Protest organizers announced more days of resistance in the coming week. Protesters have two planned disruption days. On Wednesday, demonstrators are planning to disrupt airport travel ahead of Netanyahu's state visit to Berlin on Wednesday. Thursday will be another day of resistance, named "The Day of Exacerbation of Resistance" by protest organizers.
"This is one of the critical weeks in the fight to preserve Israeli democracy from those who try to destroy it. Every Israeli who has the values of the Declaration of Independence in their hearts must come out this coming Thursday with strength and courage to defend the State of Israel. We will not accept any move that would harm Israeli democracy, we are here, on guard, we will protect Israel," protest organizers said the Tel Aviv's Kaplan Street protest.
Leader of the Opposition, Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid spoke out against the government at a protest rally in Beersheba on Saturday evening.
"If the Constitution Committee continues with this crazy legislation, it is a slap in the face of the president. A government that has two parties whose whole essence is refusal and evasion of the IDF, that will not preach morals to us," he said.
Lapid also said, "Israel is in the greatest crisis in its history. A terrible wave of terrorism is hitting us. The economy is collapsing, money is fleeing the country. Here in the south, personal security is collapsing every day anew. Yesterday the Iranians signed an agreement with Saudi Arabia that will inject billions of dollars into their nuclear program." Finally, he claimed that "the only thing that interests the government is to continue crushing Israeli democracy and the unity of the Israeli people."
In addition, ex-police officers joined protests in a show of support for Tel Aviv district police commander Ami Eshed, who was informed that he would be removed from his position on Thursday last week.
Protesters gather for 10th straight week of demonstrations
Protesters have gathered throughout Israel for two months following the proposed judicial reforms. The first week of protests garnered more than 250,000 protesters across Israel, according to organizers. Previous weeks have included multiple "days of disruption" and more than 100,000 protesters outside of the Knesset.
Protests have reached cities across the country - from Haifa to Be'er Sheba - and have gained the attention and action of student groups, military reservists, Air Force commanders, and even the national airline.
Thousands of protestors against the government's proposed judicial reforms are demonstrated by slowing traffic at Ben-Gurion International Airport on Thursday morning in order to delay Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's expected flight to Rome.
Protest organizers said that they would "drive within the airport slowly but legally."
"The defendant [Netanyahu] and the convicted [Sara Netanyahu], who are trying to create a dictatorship are flying abroad once again, at our expense. Stop the overhaul, or we will stop the country!" the organizers said.
Shira Silkoff, Eliav Breuer and Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.