Netanyahu expected to suspend Israeli judicial overhaul plan after massive protests

Israelis gather outside the Knesset, carrying Israeli flags and anti-government placards early on Monday, to protest against the government's plan to introduce judicial changes. Photo: Faiz Abu Rmeleh/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

After a night of mass demonstrations across Israel, the country's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to announce Monday morning he is suspending the judicial overhaul legislation, officials in his Likud party said.

Why it matters: The judicial overhaul has in the past three months destabalized Israel, along with its economy, and led to an unprecedented political and social crisis in the country.

Driving the news: Netanyahu shocked Israel on Sunday when he fired Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, who said a day earlier that the legislation was a clear threat to Israel's national security and called to suspend it.

  • After Gallant was fired, spontaneous demonstrations erupted across the country.
  • More than 100,000 Israeli protesters blocked Tel Aviv's main highway for hours over Sunday night and thousands more demonstrated in front of Netanyahu's residence in Jerusalem and in other cities across the country.

Behind the scenes: Netanyahu held intense discussions with members of his coalition government, aides and family members on Sunday night, Likud officials said.

  • Several Likud ministers urged him to stop the legislation, with several of them going on television.
  • However, the prime minister's son Yair Netanyahu, his Justice Minister Yariv Levin and his far-right coalition partners urged him to continue with the legislation as planned.
  • Levin threatened to resign if the legislation was suspended, according to sources.

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