The Israeli authorities deployed a strong police device, reinforced with units on horseback and water cannons, to disperse the massive anti-government protests, increasingly violent, which were replicated Thursday throughout the country after the approval of a law that shields the prime minister from being declared unfit.
Giant jets of water poured down on a crowd waving Israeli flags, LGBTQ+ flags, and banners chanting "Democracy" and "Freedom", while horse forces were used to unblock the important routes
It is the most important protest movement in the recent history of Israel, which emerged in January after the government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the most right-wing and religious the country has ever had, announced a controversial judicial reform that abolishes the ability of the Supreme Court to review and annul unconstitutional laws and gives the Executive full control over the appointment of judges.
On Thursday Parliament approved a law that shields Netanyahu from the possibility of being challenged or declared unfit to hold office, while he faces trial on various charges of corruption. The president describes the demonstrators as "anarchists" and the protests are met with increasing police repression and violence by government supporters, thus deepening the polarization of the country. At least 23 protesters have been arrested according to police reports, a figure that rises to 87 according to the Ynet information site.
A woman was arrested after allegedly hitting Agriculture Minister Avi Dichter with a flag, without injuring him.
“I strongly condemn the attack on Minister Dichter by a leftist activist and demand that opposition leaders immediately stop the lawlessness, violence, and incitement towards elected officials,” Netanyahu wrote on Twitter.
The president, who delayed a planned trip to London to deliver a national message in the evening, demanded that police and prosecutors "take immediate and firm action against anyone who lays hands on elected officials."
Meanwhile, thousands of protesters gathered outside Netanyahu's private residence in Jerusalem.
Last week, outside the home of Haredi lawmaker Moshe Gafni, protesters clashed with ultra-Orthodox residents, who pelted them with eggs.
Faced with a possible escalation in that sector, Netanyahu urged the ultra-Orthodox leaders that their people "do not go to areas where there is friction and that they do not get carried away by provocations“
Along the same lines, the President of the f Israel, Isaac Herzog, who has tried to mediate between the government and the opposition with the aim of avoiding a "civil war", urged that "everyone show responsibility and avoid inciting unfounded hatred".