Protest leaders announced Saturday afternoon that protests would be intensifying this week, with a Saturday protest at Tel Aviv's Kaplan Interchange and other locations as well as an extra protest on Monday at Ben Gurion Airport.
This week's protests mark the 26th consecutive week of protests against the government's proposed judicial reform.
According to protest organizers over 286,000 people came out to protest on Saturday night of which 150,000 were present in Kaplan junction in Tel Aviv.
At the protest against the judicial reform in Kaplan, Tel Aviv, a confrontation arose between Brothers in Arms activists and a group of demonstrators who tried to wave Palestinian flags. As part of the confrontation, an activist of the Brothers of Arms reservist protest was attacked by a demonstrator holding a Palestinian flag with pepper spray. The attacker is being questioned by the police, according to a police spokesperson.
The Brothers in Arms reserves protest said: "Just as we will not allow violence in demonstrations, we will not accept the waving of enemy flags. The protest against the coup d'état is a patriotic protest by those who love the state and not by those who oppose its existence."
צרות במשפחה.אחים לנשק נגד גוש הכיבוש. pic.twitter.com/phALW74Dmt— sheffi paz • שפי פז (@sheffipaz) July 1, 2023
A violent incident was reported at just before 7 p.m. at Kabri Junction near Nahariya. Three men were reported to get out of a car and attempt to grab flags and physically confront demonstrators. They were promptly detained by police for questioning and taken to Nahariya police station.
"Protests against the dictatorial regime coup will take place at 150 locations nationwide, from Gome Junction in the North, to Eilat in the South. The main event will be the mass protest held at Democracy Square on Kaplan St. in Tel Aviv, where speeches will begin at 8:30 PM." announced protest leaders.
Protesters in Tel Aviv partially blocked Ayalon lanes Saturday evening before the demonstration against the judicial reform on Kaplan Street. The police removed the protesters. During the containment of protesters attempting to descend on Route 20 near Gesher Yehudit, 2 protesters were arrested on suspicion of violating the order, according to a police spokesperson.
The students' protest stated: "Without reasonable cause, Israel is a country of corrupt appointments, where every minister is an emperor, where improbability is celebrated. The government has revealed its true face - and we have four weeks to stop it. We will not grow into a dictatorship. Resist!"
Several other locations have been announced as main protests including Haifa, Jerusalem, Ashdod, Beersheba, Karkur, Beit Shemesh, Netanya, and Karmiel.
Protests had begun winding down after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu put the legislation on pause before Passover. However after recent attempts by the Prime Minister to push forward with the Reasonableness Doctrine bill, which would block Israel's courts from reviewing or striking down executive decisions based on their "extreme unreasonableness."
In an attempt to mollify protesters by throwing out the override clause, which would have allowed the Knesset to overturn Supreme Court rulings. This doesn't seem to have worked as protest leaders responded with calls for intensification of anti-judicial reform protests.
"All these steps are ones seen only under dictatorial regimes."Protest reform leaders press release
Protest leaders also condemned the prime minister and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir for holding meetings aimed at limiting protests, with protest leaders calling it "dictatorial legislation" intended to limit "freedom of expression along with our right to protest," and that "all these steps are one’s seen only under Dictatorial regimes."
Protests to intensify
There was also a call for protests outside Terminal 3 at Ben Gurion Airport on Monday evening.
The speakers at Kaplan on Saturday night will be Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai; the leader of the women’s protest movement ‘Bonot Alternativa’ [building an alternative], Moran Zer Katzenstein; hi-tech entrepreneur, lecturer, and prominent protest leader, Moshe Radman; and hosting the event will be journalist, Or-ly Barlev.
“Israel is facing a dark moment, where basic rights are in grave danger, from Netanyahu and Levin who are scheming to ban protests, cripple judicial oversight, and appoint their own Judges who are loyal to them. For six months they have been confronted with a historic protest movement that has blocked their every attempt to turn Israel into a Dictatorship. Now is the time to come out and resist in every legal and nonviolent way possible, on Kaplan St., at Ben Gurion Intl Airport, and across the nation.” said Kaplan Force in a press release.
The Science Park intersection in Rehovot was blocked around 6 p.m. by protesters speakers there include Attorney Talia Hasson, formerly of the State Attorney's Office, Attorney Gonen Ben Yitzhak - one of the founders of the Crime Minister movement, and Attorney Ayelet Hashar Seydoff, founder of Mothers on the Front, according to Walla.
Former Defense Minister Moshe (Bogie) Ya'alon said Saturday evening at a demonstration against the judicial reform in Haifa that "Our mobilization to protest today reminds me of our mobilization in the Yom Kippur War, except that then the mobilization was against an external threat, and a government that was wrong. Today it is a mobilization in the face of an internal threat of a government that is working maliciously, and destroys what was built from the dawn of Zionism with blood."
"This is not the reason for reasonableness, it is the reason for fragility. There were no agreements in the president's house regarding everything the coalition says. This is a complete lie. This is an outright lie." said opposition leader Yair Lapid on Saturday at a demonstration in Ra'anana.
According to the leaders of 'Kaplan Force', about one hundred and fifty thousand demonstrators participated in the main demonstration against the judicial reform at Kaplan Street in Tel Aviv. This is an increase from the last few weeks of protests.