Knesset plenum faces disruptions as judicial reform debate begins

Opposition MKs raise Israeli flags in sign of protest; protesters removed from visitors' gallery after chanting slogans against government’s plan; tens of thousands march around parliament building

As the Knesset began deliberations on core elements of the government’s proposed judicial reform Monday evening, the session was subjected to numerous disruptions from both opposition lawmakers and protesters.
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  • Under an unprecedented order from Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana, opposition lawmakers were searched upon entering the plenum and were prohibited from bringing in bags with them "for fear of provocations”. However, countless opposition MKs raised Israeli flags as a sign of protest as the session went underway.
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    חברי האופוזיציה מתעטפים בדגלי ישראל לקראת ההצבעה בקריאה ראשונה על חוקי הרפורמה המשפטית
    חברי האופוזיציה מתעטפים בדגלי ישראל לקראת ההצבעה בקריאה ראשונה על חוקי הרפורמה המשפטית
    Opposition lawmakers fly Israeli flags during debate on judicial reform in Knesset plenum
    Meanwhile, protesters also began chanting slogans against the government’s plan from the visitors' gallery as Constitution, Law and Justice Committee Chairman Simcha Rothman presented the bill and were removed by ushers.
    During the day, tens of thousands of Israelis thronged to Jerusalem to protest the coalition’s push to reshape the balance between the three branches of government, and about 20,000 of them continued marching around the parliament building ahead of the first vote.
    2 View gallery
    צעדת מחאה נגד הרפורמה המשפטית בירושלים
    צעדת מחאה נגד הרפורמה המשפטית בירושלים
    Protesters rally outside Knesset ahead of vote on judicial reform
    (Photo: Shalev Shalom)
    The bills, which stand at the heart of the judicial reform, that will go up for first reading on Monday will give the government greater influence on the selection process of judges and will also prevent the High Court of Justice from striking down so-called Basic Laws, which hold a quasi-constitutional status.
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